The small flowerheads of artemisia ludoviciana
are formed of up to 45 tiny disc florets, yellow or brownish in color, enclosed by grey-green phyllaries which open for a relatively short time. The phyllaries, leaves and stem are all covered by dense, silky, gray-white hairs. Stems may be single or branched, and bear flowers in open arrays along the upper half. Leaves have generally have smooth (entire) edges and an alternate arrangement, growing all along the stem but not at the base, though stem leaves can have a few small teeth. Lower leaves may be lobed or pinnately divided.
The plant is widespread, both in geographic distribution and elevation, and at least six subspecies are recognized; most common is ssp ludoviciana
, which has leaves which are flat (no curved margins), long (up to 4 inches), and relatively shallowly lobed.