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March 2012
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Artemisia is a genus of soft aromatic herbs belonging to the daisy family Asteraceae.

Image of Artemisia plant at Google

Artemisia is a genus of soft aromatic herbs that have between 200 to 400 species belonging to the daisy family Asteraceae. These are native of Africa and especially in South Africa and have reached the North and East as Ethiopia. These herbs grow in clumps and their stems are woody and ridged.

The common names are mugwort, sagebrush, sagewort, and wormwood, Tarragon and Southernwood and some of the species are called sages.

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.

They are 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 “Artemisia” comes from the Greek god, Artemis.

Some of the species are as below:
• Artemisia abrotanum L.–Southernwood, Southern Wormwood, Abrotanum, Lemon Plant
• Artemisia absinthium L.–Grand Wormwood
• Artemisia afra Jacq. ex Willd.–African Wormwood, African Sagebrush
• Artemisia alaskana Rydb.–Alaska Wormwood
• Artemisia aleutica Hultén–Aleutian Wormwood
• Artemisia annua L.–Annual Wormwood, Sweet Sagewort, Sweet Annie
• Artemisia arborescens–Tree Wormwood
• Artemisia arbuscula Nutt.–Little Sagebrush, Low Sagebrush, Black Sage
• Artemisia australis Less.–??hinahina, O?ahu Wormwood
• Artemisia biennis Willd.–Biennial Sagewort, Biennial Wormwood
• Artemisia cana Pursh–Silver Sagebrush
• Artemisia canadensis Michx.–Canada Wormwood
• Artemisia capillaris Thunb.–Capillary Wormwood
• Artemisia cina O.Berg & C.F.Schmidt–Santonica, Levant Wormseed
• Artemisia douglasiana Bess.–Douglas’ Mugwort, Douglas’ Sagewort
• Artemisia frigida Willd.–Fringed Sagebrush, Fringed Sagewort, Prairie Sagewort
• Artemisia furcata Bieb.–Forked Wormwood
• Artemisia glacialis L.–Glacier Wormwood, Alpine Mugwort
• Artemisia herba-alba Asso–White Wormwood

Growing conditions for Artemisia:
• 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:
• It tolerates poor soil.
• It needs full sun to partial shade.
• It 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.

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