Artemisia - Wormwood

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Artemisia absinthium (Absinthe wormwood)

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Category Perennial
Kingdom Plantae
Class Angiospermae
Order Asterales
Family Asteraceae
Species in this genus
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Aden Earth Zone

5 - 10


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  • Light:
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  • Form: Herbaceous
  • Habit: Perennial
  • Flower:
  • Fruit/Seed:
  • Foliage:
  • Uses: Edible, Medicinal


Wormwood shoots.jpg
Artemisia californica01.jpg
Artemisia pycnocephala01.jpg

Artemisia (pronounced /ˌɑrtɨˈmiːziə/)[1] is a large, diverse genus of plants with between 200 to 400 species belonging to the daisy family Asteraceae. It comprises hardy herbs and shrubs known for their volatile oils. They grow in temperate climates of the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere, usually in dry or semi-dry habitats. The fern-like leaves of many species are covered with white hairs. Some botanists split the genus into several genera, but DNA analysis[2] does not support the maintenance of the genera Crossostephium, Filifolium, Neopallasia, Seriphidium, and Sphaeromeria. Common names used for several species include wormwood, mugwort, sagebrush and sagewort, while a few species have unique names, notably Tarragon (A. dracunculus) and Southernwood (A. abrotanum). Occasionally some of the species are called sages, causing confusion with the Salvia sages in the family Lamiaceae.

Most species have strong aromas and bitter tastes from terpenoids and sesquiterpene lactones, which exist as an adaptation to discourage herbivory. The small flowers are wind-pollinated, although they are used as food plants by a number of Lepidoptera species.

Cultivation and uses

The aromatic leaves of many species of Artemisia have been used for medicinal purposes, and some are used for flavouring. Most species have an extremely bitter taste. A. dracunculus (Tarragon) is widely used as a herb, particularly important in French cuisine. Artemisia arborescens is used as an herb in the Middle East. Artemisia absinthium (Absinth Wormwood) was used to repel fleas and moths, and in brewing (e.g. wormwood beer, wormwood wine, vermouth, absinthe).

Within such religious practices as Wicca, members of the genus are believed to have effects on the psychic abilities of the practitioner. The beliefs surrounding this genus are founded upon the strong association between the herbs of the genus Artemisia and the moon goddess Artemis, who is believed to hold these powers.

Selected species

A. abrotanum L.Southernwood
A. absinthium L.Grand Wormwood
A. adamsii
A. afraAfrican Wormwood, African Sagebrush
A. alaskanaAlaska Wormwood
A. alcockii
A. aleuticaAleutian Wormwood
A. amoena
A. annua L.Annual Wormwood, Sweet Sagewort, Sweet Annie
A. araxina
A. arborescensTree Wormwood
A. arbusculaLittle Sagebrush, Low Sagebrush, Black Sage
A. arcticaBoreal Sagebrush
A. arctisibirica
A. arenaria
A. arenicola
A. argentata
A. argenteaMadeira wormwood (?)
A. argyi
A. argyrophylla
A. armeniaca
A. aschurbajewii
A. australisWormwood[3]
A. austriaca A. avarica A. badhysi
A. balchanorum
A. baldshuanica
A. bargusinensis
A. bejdemaniae
A. biennisBiennial Sagewort, Biennial Wormwood
A. bigeloviiBigelow Sage, Bigelow Sagebrush
A. borealis
A. borotalensis
A. bottnica
A. caespitosa
A. californicaCoastal Sagebrush, California Sagebrush
A. camelorum
A. campestrisField Wormwood
A. camphorata
A. canaSilver Sagebrush
A. canadensisCanada Wormwood
A. capillarisCapillary Wormwood
A. carruthiiCarruth Sagewort, Carruth's Sagebrush
A. caucasica Willd.
A. chamaemelifolia Vill.
A. cina O.Berg & C.F.SchmidtSantonica, Levant Wormseed
A. ciniformis Krasch. & Popov ex Poljakov
A. commutata Besser
A. compacta Fisch. ex DC.
A. cuspidata Krasch.
A. czukavinae Filatova
A. daghestanica Krasch. & Poretzky
A. demissa Krasch.
A. depauperata Krasch.
A. deserti Krasch.
A. desertorum Spreng.
A. diffusa Krasch. ex Poljakov
A. dimoana Popov
A. dolosa Krasch.
A. douglasiana Bess.Douglas' Mugwort, Douglas' Sagewort
A. dracunculus L.Tarragon
A. dubia Wall.
A. dubjanskyana Krasch. ex Poljakov
A. dumosa Poljakov
A. elongata Filatova & Ladygina
A. eremophila Krasch. & Butkov ex Poljakov
A. eriantha Ten.
A. feddei H.Lév. & Vaniot
A. fedtschenkoana Krasch.
A. ferganensis Krasch. ex Poljakov
A. filifolia Torr.Sand Sagebrush, Sand Sagebush, Silvery Wormwood
A. flava Jurtzev
A. franserioides GreeneRagweed Sagebrush
A. freyniana (Pamp.) Krasch.
A. frigida Willd.Fringed Sagebrush, Fringed Sagewort, Prairie Sagewort
A. fulvella Filatova & Ladygina
A. furcata Bieb.Forked Wormwood
A. galinae Ikonn.
A. glabella Kar. & Kir.
A. glacialis L.Glacier Wormwood, Alpine Mugwort
A. glanduligera Krasch. ex Poljakov
A. glauca Pall. ex Willd.
A. glaucina Krasch. ex Poljakov
A. globosa Krasch.
A. globularia Cham. ex Bess.Purple Wormwood
A. glomerata Ledeb.Cudweed Sagewort, Pacific Alpine Wormwood
A. gmelinii Webb ex StechmannGmelin's Wormwood
A. gnaphalodes Nutt.
A. gorjaevii Poljakov
A. gracilescens Krasch. & Iljin
A. granatensis Boiss. ex DC.
A. gurganica (Krasch.) Filatova
A. gypsacea Krasch., Popov & Lincz. ex Poljakov
A. halodendron Turcz. ex Besser
A. halophila Krasch.
A. heptapotamica Poljakov
A. herba-alba AssoWhite Wormwood
A. hippolyti Butkov
A. hololeuca M.Bieb. ex Besser
A. hulteniana Vorosch.
A. incana (L.) Druce
A. indica Willd.Yomogi
A. insulana Krasch.
A. insularis Kitam.
A. integrifolia L.
A. issykkulensis Poljakov
A. jacutica Drobow
A. japonica Thunb.Otoko Yomogi
A. juncea Kar. & Kir.
A. karatavica Krasch. & Abolin ex Poljakov
A. karavajevii Leonova
A. kaschgarica Krasch.
A. kauaiensis (Skottsberg) SkottsbergWormwood
A. keiskeana Miq.
A. kelleri Krasch.
A. kemrudica Krasch.
A. knorringiana Krasch.
A. kochiiformis Krasch. & Lincz. ex Poljakov
A. koidzumii Nakai
A. kopetdaghensis Krasch. ex Poljakov
A. korovinii Poljakov
A. korshinskyi Krasch. ex Poljakov
A. krushiana Bess.Krush's Wormwood
A. kulbadica Boiss. & Buhse
A. kuschakewiczii C.G.A.Winkl.
A. laciniata Willd.Siberian Wormwood
A. laciniatiformis Kom.
A. lagocephala (Besser) DC.
A. lagopus Fisch. ex Besser
A. lanata Willd.
A. latifolia Ledeb.
A. ledebouriana Besser
A. lehmanniana Bunge
A. leontopodioides Fisch. ex Besser
A. lessingiana Besser
A. leucodes Schrenk
A. leucophylla (Turcz. ex Besser) Pamp.
A. leucotricha Krasch. ex Ladygina
A. lindleyana Bess.Columbia River Wormwood
A. lipskyi Poljakov
A. littoricola Kitam.
A. longifolia Nutt.Longleaf Sagebrush, Longleaf Wormwood
A. ludoviciana Nutt.Gray Sagewort, Prairie Sage, White Sagebrush
A. macilenta (Maxim.) Krasch.
A. macrantha Ledeb.
A. macrobotrys Ledeb.Yukon Wormwood
A. macrocephala Jacq. ex Besser
A. macrorhiza Turcz.
A. maracandica Bunge
A. maritima L.Sea Wormwood
A. marschalliana Spreng.
A. martjanovii Krasch. ex Poljakov A. mauiensis (Gray) SkottsbergWormwood
A. maximovicziana Krasch. ex Poljakov
A. medioxima Krasch. ex Poljakov
A. messerschmidtiana Besser
A. michauxiana Bess.Michaux Sagebrush, Michaux's Wormwood
A. minor Jacq. ex Besser
A. mogoltavica Poljakov
A. mongolica (Besser) Fisch. ex Nakai
A. mongolorum Krasch.
A. montana (Nakai) Pamp.
A. mucronulata Poljakov
A. multisecta Leonova
A. mutellina Vill.
A. nachitschevanica Rzazade
A. nakaii Pamp.
A. namanganica Poljakov
A. nana Gaudin
A. negrei Ouyahya
A. nesiotica RavenIsland Sagebrush
A. nigricans Filatova & Ladygina
A. niitakayamensis Hayata
A. nilagirica (C.B.Clarke) Pamp.
A. nitida Bertol.
A. nortonii Pamp.
A. norvegica Fr.Norwegian Mugwort
A. nova A.Nels.Black Sagebrush
A. nuristanica Kitam.
A. obscura Pamp.
A. obtusa Rydb.
A. obtusiloba Ledeb.
A. occidentalisichuanensis Y.R.Ling & S.Y.Zhao
A. occidentalisinensis Y.R.Ling
A. oelandica (Besser) Krasch.
A. olchonensis Leonova
A. oliveriana J.Gay ex Besser
A. ordosica Krasch.
A. orientalixizangensis Y.R.Ling & Humphries
A. orientaliyunnanensis Y.R.Ling
A. orthobotrys Kitag.
A. packardiae J.Grimes & ErtterPackard's Wormwood, Succor Creek Sagebrush
A. pallasiana Fisch. ex Besser
A. palmeri GraySan Diego Sagewort
A. palustris L.
A. pannosa Krasch.
A. papposa Blake & Cronq.Owyhee Sage, Owyhee Sagebrush
A. parryi GrayParry's Wormwood
A. pattersonii GrayPatterson's Wormwood
A. pectinata Pall.
A. pedatifida Nutt.Birdfoot Sagebrush
A. pedemontana Balb.
A. persica Boiss.
A. pewzowii C.G.A.Winkl.
A. phaeolepis Krasch.
A. polysticha Poljakov
A. pontica L.Roman Wormwood
A. porrecta Krasch. ex Poljakov
A. porteri Cronq.Porter's Wormwood
A. prasina Krasch. ex Poljak.
A. princeps Pamp.Japanese Mugwort, Yomogi
A. proceriformis Krasch.
A. prolixa Krasch. ex Poljak.
A. punctigera Krasch. ex Poljakov
A. purshiana Besser
A. pycnocephala (Less.) DC.Beach Wormwood
A. pycnorhiza Ledeb.
A. pygmaea GrayPygmy Sagebrush
A. quinqueloba Trautv.
A. remotiloba Krasch. ex Poljakov
A. rhodantha Rupr.
A. rigida (Nutt.) GrayScabland Sagebrush
A. rothrockii GrayTimberline Sagebrush
A. roxburghiana Wall. ex Besser
A. rubripes Nakai
A. rupestris L.Rock Wormwood
A. rutifolia Stephan ex Spreng.
A. sacrorum Ledeb. ex Hook.f.
A. saissanica (Krasch.) Filatova
A. saitoana Kitam.
A. salsoloides Willd.
A. samoiedorum Pamp.
A. santolina Schrenk
A. santolinifolia Turcz. ex Besser
A. santonica L.
A. saposhnikovii Krasch. ex Poljak.
A. schischkinii Krasch.
A. schrenkiana Ledeb.
A. scoparia Waldst. & Kit.Redstem Wormwood
A. scopiformis Ledeb.
A. scopulorum GrayAlpine Sagebrush, Dwarf Sagebrush
A. scotina Nevski
A. senjavinensis Bess.Arctic Wormwood
A. semiarida (Krasch. & Lavrenko) Filatova
A. senjavinensis Besser
A. sericea Weber ex Stechm.
A. serotina Bunge
A. serrata Nutt.Sawtooth Wormwood
A. sieversiana Willd.
A. skorniakowii C.G.A.Winkl.
A. sogdiana Bunge
A. songarica Schrenk
A. spicigera K.Koch
A. spinescens–Budsage
   [ = Picrothamnus desertorum ]

A. splendens Willd.
A. stelleriana Bess.Hoary Mugwort
A. stenocephala Krasch. ex Poljak.
A. stenophylla Kitam.
A. stolonifera (Maxim.) Kom.
A. subarctica Krasch.
A. subchrysolepis Filatova
A. sublessingiana Krasch. ex Poljakov
A. subsalsa Filatova
A. subviscosa Turcz. ex Besser
A. succulenta Ledeb.
A. suksdorfii PiperCoastal Wormwood
A. sylvatica Maxim.
A. szowitziana (Besser) Grossh.
A. tanacetifolia L.
A. taurica Willd.
A. tenuisecta Nevski
A. terrae-albae Krasch.
A. tianschanica Krasch. ex Poljak.
A. tilesii Ledeb.Tilesius' Wormwood
A. tomentella Trautv.
A. tournefortiana Rchb.
A. transbaicalensis Leonova
A. transiliensis Poljakov
A. trautvetteriana Besser
A. tridentata Nutt.Big Sagebrush, Blue Sage, Black Sage, Basin Sagebrush
A. triniana Besser
A. tripartita Rydb.Threetip Sagebrush
A. turanica Krasch.
A. turcomanica Gand.
A. umbelliformis Lam.Alps Wormwood
A. unalaskensis Rydb.
A. underwoodii Rydb.
A. uralensis Spreng. ex Besser
A. uraorum Hultén
A. uzbekistanica Poljakov
A. vachanica Krasch. ex Poljak.
A. valida Krasch. ex Poljak.
A. verlotiorum LamotteChinese Wormwood
A. viridis Willd.
A. vulgaris L.Mugwort A. wallichiana Besser
A. waltonii J.R.Drumm. ex Pamp.
A. wudanica Liou & W.Wang
A. wulingshanensis Bar. & Skv. ex Liou
A. wurzellii C.M.James & Stace
A. xerophila Magnier
A. xerophytica Krasch.
A. xylorhiza Krasch. ex Filatova
A. yadongensis Ling & Y.R.Ling
A. yongii Y.R.Ling
A. younghusbandii J.R.Drumm. ex Pamp.
A. zayuensis Y.R.Ling
A. zhaodongensis G.Y.Chang & M.Y.Liou
A. zhongdianensis Y.R.Ling
A. zollingeriana Sch.Bip.


  1. Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  2. L.E. Watson, 2002
  3. "A. australis". Hawaiian Native Plant Propagation Database. University of Hawaii at Manoa. Retrieved 2009-03-06.