Artemisia arbuscula is one of the more perplexing species in the Tridentatae complex. Anatomic and morphologic characteristics suggest multiple hybrid origins for the subspecies. Deciduous leaves of flowering stems in plants that otherwise have persistent leaves suggest a hybrid origin involving plants of the A. tridentata and A. cana lineages. In most instances, populations of A. arbuscula appear to be reproductively stable. The disposition of Artemisia arbuscula subsp. longicaulis Winward & McArthur (with 2n = 54) has not been determined.