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Artemisia (ar-teh-MEEZ-ee-uh)

Common Name:  Wormwood

Light:  - Full sun to part sun

Soil:  Average, well-drained

Moisture:  Average

Blooms:  Summer

Zones:  varies by species


Artemisia 'Silver Mound'

Artemisia Description and Cultural Information

Artemisia absinthium, common wormwood. 2' - 3'. This plant is a woody perennial with aromatic gray foliage. 'Lambrook Silver' has silver-gray foliage. 'Lambrook Giant' is a slightly larger variety. Zones 3 - 9.

Artemisia dracunculus 'Sativa', true French tarragon. 3' - 5'. An aromatic herb used to flavor vinegar, chicken, fish, soups, and salads. It is also a nice garden ornamental with an open habit and green, lance-shaped foliage. Zones 3 - 8.

Artemisia lactiflora, white mugwort. 4' - 6'. Grown for its flowers, white mugwort has creamy plumes in late summer above bright green foliage. It requires rich, moist soil compared to other wormwoods. 'Guizho' has blackish green foliage on mahogany stems. Zones 4 - 9.

Artemisia ludoviciana, white sage. 2' - 4'. This artemisia has creeping roots and slender woolly stems with silver leaves. 'Silver King' is upright and a rapid spreader. 'Silver Queen' is more compact. 'Silverado' looks similar to A. schmidtiana 'Silver Mound' but has upright, feathery foliage. Zones 3 - 9.

Artemisia x 'Powis Castle'. 2' - 3'. This plant is a shrubby hybrid related to common wormwood with finely divided, ferny, silvery foliage forming a mound. Zones 5 - 8.

Artemisia schmidtiana, silvermound artemisia. 1' - 2'. This is a dense, mounding plant with finely divided silver-gray foliage. Plants may flop in too much heat, but can be cut back and it will form a nice new mound. 'Nana', a.k.a. 'Silver Mound', is the most common plant in cultivation. Zones 3 - 7.

How to Grow:  Most artemisias grow well in average, well-drained soil in full sun. A. lactiflora prefers rich, moist, well-drained soil for best growth. Silvermound artemisia grows best in cool areas and low humidity. The other species are better choices for high heat areas. Prune plants back if they lose their form and divide fast spreading species such as white mugwort or white sage to contain their growth.

Landscape uses:  Artemisias are wonderful silver-gray accent plants useful in many different garden settings. Be careful that some of the spreading types don't take over your gardens. Try them with ornamental grasses, shrubs, or with other drought tolerant perennials such as yarrows (Achillea), Echinacea, Rudbeckia, or Yuccas. Artemisia lactiflora 'Guizho' blooms a little later and works great with Japanese anemones and Aconitum (monkshood).

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