Wormwood. Artemisia absinthium L.

Figure 124.—Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)

Other Common Names

Absinthium, absinth, madderwort, mingwort, old woman, warmot.

Habitat And Range

Wormwood, naturalized from Europe and mostly escaped from gardens in this country, is found in waste places and along roadsides from Newfoundland to New York and westward. It is cultivated in some localities, especially in Michigan and Indiana, for the production of the volatile oil* which it contains.

Description

This shrubby, aromatic, much-branched plant grows from 2 to 4 feet in height. The growing shoots are silvery white with fine silky hairs; and the grayish-green leaves, which are from 2 to 5 inches long, are divided into small leaflets The flower clusters, appearing from July to October, consist of numerous small, insignificant, drooping, yellow heads. The plant has an aromatic odor and an exceedingly bitter taste.

Part Used

The leaves and tops, which should be collected when the plant is in flower.

*Sievers, A.F. Methods of extracting volatile oils from plant material and the production of such oils in the United States. U.S. Dept. Agr. Tech. Bul. 16, 36 p. illus. 1928.