is a diverse genus of plants which belong to the daisy family of Asteraceae
. It has more than 200 species of hardy herbs and shrubs and is well known for its volatile oil. Wormwood, mugwort, sagebrush and sagewort
are several common names. There are a few with unique names like Tarragon
( A. dracunculus
) and Southernwood ( A. abrotanum
). Most species of Artemisia has strong aromas and bitter tastes. Some species have aromatic leaves which are used in medicine, some as flavouring. A. dracunculus
(Tarragon) is widely used as a herb and is an important ingredient in French cuisine.
Artemisia grows in temperate climates of the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere. It likes dry or semi-dry habitats. All grow best in well-drained sandy soil, unfertilized and in full sun. Many species of Artemisia have fern-like leaves covered with white hairs. Some species are grown as ornamental plants, in rock gardens, herb gardens, as mixed border or for groundcover.
Tree Wormwood or Sheeba in Arabic ( A. arborescens
) is a bitter herb native to the Middle East and used widely in tea, usually with mint and known to have some hallucinogenic properties.
Artemisia propagates by seed in autumn or spring. You can also divide it in autumn or spring, or take greenwood cuttings in summer. The pests affecting Artemisia are aphids and powdery mildew.
Forest & Kim Starr