Artemisia californica is the common sagebrush of chaparral in southern California. Its threadlike leaves and green flowering heads distinguish it from any other shrub in California. Artemisia nesiotica, an endemic of the Channel Islands that was initially considered a morphologic variant of A. californica, is distinct in size and form. Systematic placement of the complex may be problematic. The molecular phylogeny of L. E. Watson et al. (2002) suggests an alignment of A. californica within subg. Tridentatae. Based on this finding, a subgeneric realignment of this species may be in order. The odor of A. californica is markedly like that of the culinary mints known as common sage (Salvia species).