Description from Flora of China
Subshrubs, caespitose, 50-100(-150) cm tall, from woody rhizomes, densely pubescent, or glabrescent. Stems branched from upper parts. Leaves gland-dotted. Middle stem leaves: petiole 1-5 cm, triangular- or elliptic-ovate, 2-10 × 2-8 cm, 2- or 3-pinnatisect; segments 3-5 pairs; lobules serrate or pectinate; rachis serrate. Uppermost leaves and leaflike bracts 1- or 2-pinnatisect or entire; lobes linear or linear-lanceolate. Synflorescence a broad panicle. Capitula nodding. Involucre globose, 2-3.5(-5) mm in diam.; phyllaries puberulent, sometimes glabrescent. Marginal female florets 10-12; corolla narrowly tubular, ca. 1.3 mm, densely gland-dotted. Disk florets 20-40, bisexual; corolla ca. 1.8 mm. Achenes ellipsoid-ovoid or ellipsoid-conical. Fl. and fr. Aug-Oct. 2n = 18, 36.
Poljakov (Fl. URSS 26: 465. 1961) showed that Artemisia sacrorum and the type of A. gmelinii are conspecific. Most material previously identified as A. gmelinii by Chinese authors belongs to A. stechmanniana.
Hills, waysides, shrublands, slopes, often dominant on S slopes, roadsides, forest steppes, steppes, meadows, dry floodlands, wastelands; 1000-4900 m or below. Anhui, Gansu, Guangdong, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Xizang; one variety widespread throughout China [Afghanistan, N India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, N Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan; E Europe].