Absinthium arborescens Moench
Absinthium arborescens Vaill.
Artemisia argentea Willk. & Lange
Artemisia elegans Salisb.
Common Name: Great Mugwort
Artemisia arborescens is an evergreen, aromatic, perennial plant with stems that become more or less woody, at least at the base, and can persist; the plant grows up to 100cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. It is grown as an ornamental in gardens, there are some named varieties[
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[
Mediterranean - Portugal and Spain to Greece; Algeria to Libya; Turkey and the Levant
Maquis and forest[
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Artemisia arborescens is only hardy in the milder regions of the temperate zone, tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c[
Succeeds in any well-drained, moderately fertile circumneutral or slightly alkaline soil, preferring a position in full sun[
]. Plants in this genus tend to be longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil[
A very polymorphic species.
The Greeks and the Arabs applied this plant vaginally for contraceptive purposes[
]. The aerial parts of the plant contain artemisan, a natural contraceptive[
The plant has antiviral properties that have been demonstrated as effective in vitro against Herpes simplex virus 1[
A new sequiterpene lactone 3α,4α-10β-trihydroxy-8α-acetyloxyguaian-12,6α-olide, has been isolated from aerial parts of this plant[
An essential oil obtained from the plant has demonstrated insecticidal activity against a range of insects[
]. The main constituents of the oil are Α-pinene, β-thujone, camphor, beta-carophyllene and chamazulene[
]. Yields of 0.8% have been achieved from the leaves[
Seed - surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates within 2 - 26 weeks at 15°c[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. They can be planted out in the summer, or kept in pots in a cold frame for the winter and then planted out in the spring.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, mid summer in a frame.
Division in spring or autumn.