HOME -->  All Plants and Seeds INDEX -->  Herbs INDEX -->  Wormwood Plants and Seeds
  Plant and Seed Mobile Friendly Index  

Artemisia absinthium

(Plant heights are given at maturity)
Click to Enlarge WORMWOOD PLANT Image

Wormwood Artemisia absinthium absinthe plant

Absinthe plant
Green ginger
Artemisia absinthium
Wormwood Absinthe plant Ajenjo Artemisia absinthium
  Artemisia absinthium - Perennial - Culinary, Medicinal -  a bitter herb found wild on Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.  It has been cultivated for centuries for it's stimulant properties for which it is taken internally as medicine or in foods.  The gray green leaves are used to flavor beers, liqueurs and is a key ingredient of absinthe. It is used as a dewormer, and as treatment for indigestion and malaria.  Historical records will reveal many recommended uses for this plant from internal use for relief of symptoms from many other ailments to external antiseptic use on skin to environmental use of repelling fleas from living areas and keeping insects out of stored clothing and furs.      Lovely specimen plant.  Full sun; plant height: 24-36in.
#774  Packet   $3.50    Approximately 50 seeds
#P774   Plant   3.5 inch pot   $5.95

Known as Wormwood, Common wormwood, Grand wormwood and green ginger, Artemisia absinthium has a long history of use.  It was well known in Roman and biblical times as a vermifuge and as a tonic for various complaints.  Extremely bitter in taste and disliked by insects, wormwood became a metaphor to describe nearly anything acrid or unpleasant. ("...in the end she is as bitter as wormwood, as sharp as a two edged sword...")
In his work The English Phystian written in 1652, Nicholas Culpeper's description of Common Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) is brief: "Common Wormwood I shall not describe, for every boy that can eat an eg knows it."  Apparently, knowledge of egg eating has become scarce among modern Americans because I don't know a lot of people who could identify it. 
Artemisia absinthium has  rather lacy and deeply lobed leaves, grey-green above and silvery white underneath.  Leaves are arranged spirally about semi woody stems.  The plant does have blooms, very small, rather non-descript  creamy yellow, appearing on capitula (downward arching heads).  Native to parts of Europe, Asia, and northern Africa, it has become naturalized in many parts of the world, including North America.  It is a tough customer and its fibrous root system can withstand drought well.  It prefers a dry sunny spot with average or slightly poor soil, although it adapts fairly well to richer, shadier locations.  Herbalists prefer plants grown in poorer soils, as the essential plant oils tend to be stronger 
The plants are easily propagated by sowing seed or dividing existing plants in the spring.  Seeds are extremely tiny and should be sown in flats or pots for transplanting.  Prepare a flat or pot with a fine sterile planting mix .  Sprinkle the seed on the surface and press lightly into the soil, then water thoroughly using a light mist (you can also water the pot or tray from the bottom making sure that the soil is completely moist, but not soggy).  You may cover the flat with plastic or glass or not, just make sure that the soil stays moist, but...(that's right) not soggy.  Seedlings should emerge in about 21 days, give or take a few days.  If covered with plastic or glass, remove it when the seedlings emerge and continue to keep the soil most.  When the seedlings reach about 2 inches in height, pluck them out carefully and transplant to larger pots or, if the weather permits, outdoors.  In their final location in the outdoor garden, plants should be spaced at 20-36 inches apart each way

Culpepper accredits the great benefits of wormwood, singly and combined with other herbs to produce treatments for jaundice, diarrhea, palsey, internal parasites (though he prescribes Sea Wormwood ,Artemisia martima, for weak constitutions for this purpose, as Common wormwood is considered too strong), lost appetite, rat bites, bruising, venomous bites, bad breath, the French Pox, and the very intriguing "dull brain".  He further states that wormwood is "an herb of Mars" fighting evil humors.

Modern descriptions for the uses of wormwood are a bit more cautious and much less colorful.  A primary ingredient, along with anise, fennel and other ingredients, in the distilled liqueur absinthe, it's use has been banned in many countries due to the toxicity of long term ingestion of the tannins in the plant.  Still, herbalists used Artemisia absinthium internally primarily as a vermicide for internal parasites and as a companion plant for carrots (it is said to repel root flies).  Medicinally, it is used currently much in the same manner that Culpeper recommended - as an appetite stimulant and a liver and gallbladder tonic.  Some recommend chewing the leaves to stimulate digestive secretions.  Herbalists caution Ingestion for individuals with stomach, diabetes or liver problems, and that the herb should be avoided by pregnant women and children.  The crushed leaves are also used in green songpyeon, a Korean rice cake eaten during the thanksgiving festival.

Other Artemisias - Go to:

To keep our carrots free of root flies, plant wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) as a companion. The bitter plant repels the little bugs.
Members of the allium family (garlic, onions, and allium flowers) make great companion plants for members of the Brassica family (cabbage, kale, collards, broccoli, cauliflower).  Also for tomatoes, peppers and carrots. They repel cabbage worms, root flies, aphids and slugs.
To keep cabbage worms at bay, plant rosemary, dill, geraniums, nasturtiums or members of the Allium family (garlic, onions, and allium flowers) nearby.
Cats aren't the only creature in nature to appreciate catnip. Beets love it, too. Catnip, along with mints and garlic can keep away pests.
One of the best companion plants for peppers is ... MORE PEPPERS. Peppers are the self help vegetable. Fruits can be ground, fresh or dried and mixed with water to produce a natural pest repellent. You can also help keep your peppers producing by planting a dense growing herb like marjoram or basil in your pepper rows to shade the plants slightly and hold in humidity

Back to VARIETY INDEX    Terms     HOME

richfarmgardenIf you have arrived in someone else's frame, or can not see all of the other information available on richfarmgarden.com Click here to enter from beginning