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The Plant Guide

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Artemisia absinthium

ar-tem-EE-zsah ab-SIN-thee-um

Artemisia absinthium is a woody perennial with finely cut, silvery-gray, aromatic foliage. Its small yellow flowers have little ornamental value. Wormwood is useful in beds, borders, and rock gardens, and it makes an excellent foil for bright colors and dark foliage. This plant needs excellent drainage.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsSilver-gray, aromatic foliage. Has naturalized in some areas, including New England. All parts of the plant should be considered poisonous.

CareNeeds excellent drainage and full sun to grow well. Soil may be poor to moderately fertile. Deadhead to control self-seeding. Cut to the base in autumn, or shear in spring.

PropagationSow seed in a cold frame, or divide, in autumn or spring. Root greenwood cuttings or heel cuttings of side-shoots in early summer.

ProblemsWhite rust, downy and powdery mildews, rusts, and fungal leaf and stem diseases are common.

  • Genus : Artemisia
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Moisture : Dry to Medium
  • Growth Rate : Fast, Moderate
  • Characteristics : Fragrant Foliage, Showy Foliage
  • Light : Full Sun
  • Bloom Time : Late Summer, Summer
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Foliage Color : Silver/Grey
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest
  • Flower Color : Yellow
View Comments


  1. freyaBee 06/08/2016

    Interesting article, though I would like to know more about this
    plant. Historically it was mostly famous for its use in absinthe:
    (even though Romans used it as a medicine primarily). It seems that
    it can be used to treat common cold and boost appetite(which is often
    low during the disease) -
    - so it can be definitely used in a household. I also like it smell
    and look, so maybe I will try growing it.

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