Perennials, 5–15(–25) cm (cespitose), faintly aromatic. Stems brownish purple, glabrous. Leaves deciduous, bright green; blades (proximalmost petiolate) ovate, 1.5–5 × 1–2.5 cm, 2–3-pinnately lobed (cauline sessile, ternately or pinnately lobed, terminal lobes lance-linear, 1–6 × 0.5–1 mm), faces glabrous or sparsely hairy, glandular. Heads (5–9, pedunculate or sessile, spreading or drooping) in spiciform arrays 3–9 × 0.5–1 cm. Involucres globose, 4–5(–7) × 4–5(–7) mm. Phyllaries green (margins light green), ± hairy. Florets: pistillate 14–16 (glandular, style branches exsert, linear, spreading); bisexual 40–70; corollas 1.5–2 mm, glabrous or glandular (styles shorter than corollas). Cypselae ca. 1 mm (apices flat), glabrous.
Phenology: Flowering late summer–fall.
Habitat: Steppes, alkaline meadows, stony slopes
Elevation: 0–1400 m
The sole North American occurrence of Artemisia rupestris in southwestern Yukon is a remarkable disjunction from the Asiatic range of this species.