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April 2011
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Artemisia afra – a soft aromatic herb that belongs to the genus Artemisia




Artemisia afra is a soft aromatic herb that belongs to the genus Artemisia and is a native of Africa (especially in South Africa) and has reached the North and East as Ethiopia. It can grow up to a height of 0.5 meters to 2 meters. This herb grows in clumps and its stems are woody and ridged. The leaves are of soft texture and are in dark green in color. The bottom side of leaves is lighter green and has white bristles and upper side is dark green in color. They bloom in late summer, from March to May. The flowers are bracts in butter color or creamy yellow and are about 3 to 5 millimeters in diameter. The stems are woody at the base and become softer as we go up. The herb has a pungent and sweet aroma.
It is used to treat cough, fever, colic, headache, to intestinal parasites and malaria.
It is used in enemas, poultices, infusions, lotions, inhaled (e.g. smoked or snuffed), or as an essential oil.
The word “afra” comes from Africa and “Artemisia” from the Greek god, Artemis.
This plant needs full sun to partial shade and well drained soil.
Mulching the plant around is needed to retain moisture and temperature maintained that is ideal for the plant.

Growing conditions for Artemisia afra:

• Plant in a sunny location.
• Wormwood needs full sun to partial shade.
• Dig a hole of 6 to 8 inches to plant.
• Add 2-4 inches of compost or manure to the planting soil.
• The plant’s root ball should fit the hole.
• Keep the soil moist and for good growth water occasionally especially in hot and dry weather.
• Fertilize wormwood using liquid or general fertilizer every spring.
• Mulch the plant around to about 2-3 inch.
• This is to retain moisture and to maintain soil temperature.
• Divide the plant every 2-3 years for new growth.

Care for Artemesia afra:

• Wormwood tolerates poor soil.
• Wormwood needs full sun to partial shade.
• Wormwood is not affected by many diseases or pests.
• Do not keep the plant wet or soggy as it develops root rot.
• Prune the plant and divide 2-3 years.
• Mulch the plant around to about 2-3 inch.
• This is to retain moisture and to maintain soil temperature.
• Fertilize once a year.

Photos of this plant on Google Search.





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