Artemisia Ludoviciana which is also known as Silver Wormwood, Louisiana Wormwood, White Sagebrush, Prairie Sage and Gray Sagewort belongs to the Sagebrush species. This is a perennial herb that is native to North America. It can grow up to a height of 30 centimeters to one meter. Ludoviciana comes from the Latin word Louisiana.
This herb is rhizomatous and its stems bear leaves that are about 11 centimeters in length. The foliage has wooly gray and white colored hairs. The flower heads have narrow inflorescence. Each head appears like a cup of hairy phyllaries around a centre of disc floret that are about a cm wide and yellow in color. This herb is used for medicinal, veterinary, and ceremonial purposes. The flowers bloom from mid to late summer and early fall. It is aromatic with a scent.
This herb love shallow and mesic soils. It grows in dry slopes and piney woods. It grows well in well drained to average fertile soil. This herb is also a host to the larvae of the Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa cardui).
There are many subspecies, including:
• ssp. albula – native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.
• ssp. candicans – native to western North America from British Columbia to northern California.
• ssp. estesii – (Estes’ artemisia) – native to Oregon.
• ssp. ludoviciana – the most widespread subspecies
Growing conditions/Care for Artemisia Ludoviciana:
• Plant in a sunny location.
• It grows in zones of USDA of 3 and -30° F temperature.
• If sowing the seeds, sow in moist sterile soil and cover with fine sand and peat moss.
• Avoid alkaline soil for this shrub.
• This herb can also be propagated by cuttings.
• Use 3-4 inches long cuttings.
• Rooting should take place in about 4-8 weeks.
• Remove the lower leaves and on the upper side about half of leaves so that the transpiration is reduced.
• This 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 this wormwood using liquid or general fertilizer every spring.
• Mulch the plant around to about 2-3 inches.
• Prune the shrub periodically for encouraging new growth.
• This Wormwood can tolerate poor soil.
• Maintain high humidity to ensure proper rooting.
• This Wormwood is not affected by many diseases or pests.
• Do not keep the plant wet or soggy as it develops root rot.
• Use a well-drained medium like that of 3 parts perlite to 1 part vermiculite or a mix of 1 part potting mix to 2 or 3 parts perlite.