How to grow Artemisia

How to grow Artemisia

Named after Artemis the Greek goddess (Compositae). A large genus, widely distributed over the world, of shrubs, sub-shrubs, herbaceous perennials, and annuals, grown mainly for their dainty, aromatic foliage which is very finely cut in some species. The genus shows a great diversity of habit and leaf shape: the flowers are very small and are seldom of much account, though they are often borne in large panicles or plumes. The tarragon herb used for flavorings and vinegar is a member of this family. Most of the artemisias are sun lovers, but A. lactiflora, with its sprays of creamy white flowers, will grow in semi-shade and is a useful plant for the herbaceous border.

What Annual species are cultivated

A. sacrorum viridis, summer fire, 4, feet, strictly a sub-shrub but grown as an annual.

Herbaceous and sub-shrubs

A. absinthium, wormwood, 1i feet, flowers yellow, summer. There is a good form, lam-brook Silver’ useful for the grey border. A. baumgartenii, 9 inches, silvery leaves, yellow flowers, late summer. A. canescens, 1 foot, make a dome of silvery leaves and is suitable for the rock garden. A. dracunculus, tarragon, 2 feet, whitish-green. A. filifolia, dwarf carpeting plant with bright silvery foliage. A.glacialis, 3-6 inches, silvery leaves, yellow flowerheads. A plant for a scree in the rock garden or for the alpine house. A. gnaphalodes, 2 feet, foliage grey-white. A. lactiflora, 4 feet, creamy-white flowers in plumes, late summer. A. lanata, 4-6 inches, silvery leaves, yellow flowers.

How to use in a Rock Garden

A. ludoviciana, 3 feet, silvery leaves, yellow flowers, summer. A. maritima, sea wormwood, 1-1i feet, silvery-white leaves, yellowish to reddish flowers, summer. A. nutans, 14-2 feet, finely cut silver-grey leaves. A. pedemontana, 6 inches, silvery leaves, rock garden. A. pontica, 1-2 feet, grey foliage, whitish-yellow flowers, late summer. A. stelleriana, 2-3 feet, silvery leaves, yellow flowers. A. purshiana, 2 feet, white leaves, used as a foliage plant. A. vulgaris, mugwort, 2-4 feet, purplish or yellow flowers, autumn, a native plant.


A. abrotanum, 3-4 feet, the well-known old man, southernwood, or lad’s love, fragrant, grey, filigree foliage. A. arborescens, 3 feet, silvery foliage retained throughout the year. The flowers of both these shrubs, when produced, are insignificant. They are grown for their foliage.

How to grow

Plant in autumn or spring in sunny borders in ordinary soil. Propagate shrubby species by summer cuttings and herbaceous by cuttings or division. Seeds may be sown in the spring of annual and herbaceous species.

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