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November 2010
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Artemesia – Artemesia Absinthum – a perennial plant

Artemesia is a perennial that grows in Southeast. This plant has branched, firm, leafy stems with a woody base. The stem can grow up to a height of 2-21/2 feet high. The leaves are white to silvery on both sides and so is the flowering stem. Because of the leaves being in a silvery color, the plant looks good in a moonlight garden. The flowering stem is covered with fine silky hairs. The leaves are about 3 inches and 11/2 broad, pinnate and the segments are narrow. The margins of the leaves are winged and small flower heads are in an erect, leafy pinnacle. The flowers bloom from July to October. The fruits when ripe are not having tufts of hairs. These flowers are yellow in color and the leaves are scented.
This plant is also known as Worm wood and it belongs to Compositae family and genus Artemisia. This genus has more than 180 species known. Some of them are the Common Wormwood, Mugwort, Sea Wormwood and Field Wormwood. Some of them are used for borders and some are rockwork shrubs. It is found in wasteland. The plant as a whole can grow up to a height of 3 feet (1m).
Wormwood means “wermut” in German, which means “preserver of the mind” and the name Artemesia comes from Artemis, a Greek word, which means “goddess of the moon-Diana” It is a traditional herb but is bitter in taste, as said in a proverb, “as bitter as Wormwood”.
Artemesia covers vast plains of the Western states of North America. The plant is found in arid soil and Tartarean steppes. It originated in the Garden of Eden. It has some medicinal uses. It was first used by Greeks to get rid of intestinal worms, and hence the name Wormwood. It was also used for mentally ill.
The other uses of the is as a good insecticide. It is also used to stop flies into the house. It is also considered as a malaria treatment. It is now discovered by Dr. Lai, a Chinese doctor, that it can treat cancer by limiting or eradicating cell division. In general, one can say that it is a nervine tonic against the falling sick and for flatulence. It also acts as a good remedy for enfeebled digestion and debility and for cleaning wounds to relieving menstrual cramps.

Growing conditions of Artemesia

• This plant needs partial shade to full sun.
• It needs well-drained soil.
• Do not overwater and the soil should not be wet.
• Plant Wormwood in spring.
• From seeds, sow the small seeds in flats.
• Transfer the seedlings out in the garden well after the last frost in spring.
• Plant them about 2 feet apart.

Care for Artemesia

• Water the plant well, but do not overwater as the root may rot.
• Once in a year, fertilize the plant.
• Pruning can be done lightly.
• The plant needs partial shade to full sun.
• The plant need well drained soil.

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