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Useful Temperate Plants

Artemisia californica

Less.

Asteraceae

+ Synonyms

Artemisia abrotanoides Nutt.

Artemisia fischeriana Besser

Artemisia foliosa Nutt.

Crossostephium californicum (Less.) Rydb.

Common Name:

Artemisia californica
Mature plant growing in Gaviota State Park, California, USA
Photograph by: Antandrus
Creative Commons License
Artemisia californica Artemisia californica Artemisia californica Artemisia californica Artemisia californica

General Information

Artemisia californica is a pungently aromatic plant with several to numerous, more or less woody stems arising from the root crown; it usually grows 150 - 250cm tall, but is sometimes much smaller. The plant retains its leaves all year round if there is sufficient moisture, becoming deciduous during drought[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
,
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. It is grown as an ornamental, being especially valuable in arid and semi-arid regions[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].

Known Hazards

Although we have seen no specific reports for this species, many members of this genus contain potentially allergenic sesquiterpene lactones that can cause skin reactions[
407
Title
BoDD (Botanical Dermatology Database)
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://bodd.cf.ac.uk/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Brief notes on a very wide range of plants that have reports of causing harm to the skin.
].

Botanical References

270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.

Range

Southwest N. America - California, Baja California

Habitat

Coastal scrub, dry foothills, growing on a wide range of soils, though they often contain large amounts of gravel, are typically thin and undeveloped, and have little ability to retain nutrients and water; at elevations up to 800 metres[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitSemi-deciduous Shrub
Height2.00 m
PollinatorsWind
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Artemisia californica is a plant of Mediterranean climates, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, moist winters. It grows in areas where the mean annual precipitation is 250 - 450mm, with 90% of that falling in the cooler half of the year[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]. The plant grows best where winter temperatures averave 9 - 12°c and summer temperatures do not exceed 24 - 27°c, though the plant does experience both lower and higher temperatures[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
Species in this genus are generally easily grown, succeeding in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a sunny position[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. They tend to be longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil[
245
Title
Scented Flora of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Genders. R.
Publisher
Robert Hale. London.
Year
1994
ISBN
0-7090-5440-8
Description
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
692
Title
Wildland Shrubs of the United States and its Territories: Thamnic Descriptions
Publication
 
Author
Francis J.K. (Editor)
Website
http://www.fs.fed.us/global/iitf/wildland_shrubs.htm
Publisher
USDA; Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestr
Year
2000
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent series of papers, in PDf format, from various authors giving quite detailed information on a range of shrubs growing in the United States and its Territories. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
The plant responds well to regular pruning to keep it compact[
692
Title
Wildland Shrubs of the United States and its Territories: Thamnic Descriptions
Publication
 
Author
Francis J.K. (Editor)
Website
http://www.fs.fed.us/global/iitf/wildland_shrubs.htm
Publisher
USDA; Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestr
Year
2000
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent series of papers, in PDf format, from various authors giving quite detailed information on a range of shrubs growing in the United States and its Territories. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
Several low-growing cultivars have been developed for ornamental use[
692
Title
Wildland Shrubs of the United States and its Territories: Thamnic Descriptions
Publication
 
Author
Francis J.K. (Editor)
Website
http://www.fs.fed.us/global/iitf/wildland_shrubs.htm
Publisher
USDA; Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestr
Year
2000
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent series of papers, in PDf format, from various authors giving quite detailed information on a range of shrubs growing in the United States and its Territories. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The leaves are highly aromatic due to the presence of terpenes[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]. The aroma is markedly like that of the culinary mints known as common sage (Salvia species)[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].
The smaller leaves remain wilted for long periods of time when the plant is under water stress, and rehydrate within hours of rainfall[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
],
Plants can resprout from the rootcrown after a fire[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]
The plants are sensitive to atmospheric pollution[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The pollen is extracted and used as a desensitizing agent for the relief of hay fever[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].

The plant was an important medicinal herb for the native North Americans, who used it for a variety of purposes but in particular as an emmenagogue and birthing aid. It was used to induce menstruation, provide a comfortable child-birth experience, and promote rapid postnatal recovery. Beginning with the onset of menstruation, young girls were given a tea made from boiled California sagebrush. From this point forward, California sagebrush tea was drunk just prior to each menstrual period for the duration of their reproductive life. The drink was also given to newborn babies one day after birth to clean out their system. The leaves were also used to relieve colds, chewed fresh or dried, and were smoked after mixing with tobacco and other leaves. They were also used in sweathouses for various cures[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
Used externally, the leaves can be processed into a poultice and applied directly to the forehead to relieve headaches[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The essential oil from this plant contains 5 toxic terpenes. It has been suggested that the release of terpenes by California sagebrush contributes to the relative lack of vegetation under and adjacent to the shrub. During the first rains of December, the leaf drip from California sagebrush is toxic. The rain leaches toxins from the leaves and litter that is absorbed by the soil, adding to toxins previously deposited by volatilization during the dry season[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
California sagebrush seeds and transplants have been used successfully in the rehabilitation of disturbed sites[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
The plant is said to have potential for use in erosion control[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].

Other Uses

The branches have been used as firesticks[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].

Propagation

Seed - surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse, making sure that the compost does not dry out[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer.
Division in spring or autumn[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the young shoots when about 10 - 15cm long, pot up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse or cold frame and plant them out when well rooted. Very easy.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2020-10-01. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Artemisia+californica>

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