Family: Asteraceae
Common Name: Wormwood

From the arid regions of Europe, North America and Asia, these small shrubs and perennials are grown for their attractive, aromatic, silvery foliage. They are useful for borders or large rockeries, and are well suited to coastal gardens. They have feathery leaves and dense clusters of small flowers. Some of the species have medicinal properties, and others are used as herbs in salads and other dishes.


A. absinthium, common wormwood, zone 4, has silvery gray dissected leaves and dense yellow flower heads in summer. It grows to 1 m (3 ft).

A. dracunculus, tarragon, zone 3, grows 50 cm (20 in), with green leaves and greenish white flowers. Pick frequently to maintain a bushy plant. Tarragon is used for flavoring vinegar, meat dishes and salads.

A. lactiflora, white mugwort, zone 4, is an attractive species from China, with downy, fern-like, aromatic gray leaves, silver on the undersides, and clusters of tiny white flowers in the summer. It grows to 2 m (6 ft) tall.

A. ludoviciana, white sage, zone 5, grows to 1 m (3 ft), with narrow silvery foliage and white flowers.

Cultivars of Artemisia which make fine garden plants include 'Powis Castle', zone 8, and A. absinthium 'Lambrook Silver', zone 4.


Artemisia is generally easy to grow, but likes light, well-drained soil and a sunny position. It should be pruned by one-third each year to maintain its shape. Propagate from cuttings during the warm weather.


Wide range of conditions.

Aronia      Arthropodium