Sage Brush

“It is an imposing monarch of the forest in exquisite miniature, is the ‘sage-brush.’ Its foliage is a grayish green, and gives that tint to desert and mountain. It smells like our domestic sage, and ‘sage-tea’ made from it tastes like the sage tea which all boys are so well acquainted with. The sagebrush is a singularly hardy plant, and grows right in the midst of deep sand, and among barren rocks, where nothing else in the vegetable world would try to grow, except ‘bunchgrass.’ The sage-bushes grow from three to six or seven feet apart, all over the mountains and deserts of the Far West, clear to the borders of California. There is not a tree of any kind in the deserts, for hundreds of miles—there is no vegetation at all in a regular desert, except the sage-brush and its cousin the ‘greasewood,’ which is so much like the sagebrush that the difference amounts to little. Camp-fires and hot suppers in the deserts would be impossible but for the friendly sage-brush. Its trunk is as large as a boy’s wrist (and from that up to a man’s arm), and its crooked branches are half as large as its trunk—all good, sound, hard wood, very like oak.”