Origin: Eurasia and northern Africa
Scientific Name: Artemisia absinthium
Folk Names: Absinthe, Crown for a King, green ginger, old woman
Associated Celebrations: ShadowFest, Quickening
Deities: Artemis, Diana, Iris, maiden goddesses
Parts Used: The herb
Magical Properties: Clairvoyance, divination, protection, banishing, exorcism
Type: Perennial herb
Plant size: up to 1.2m
Leaves: Silky leaves are greenish-grey above and white below. Leaves at the base are up to 25cm long and multiply-divided. Leaves on the stems are 5-10cm long, narrower, with less division.
Flowers: Early summer to early autumn. Pale yellow, tubular flowers clustered in spherical heads.
Etymology: Artemisia comes from Ancient Greek Artemis. Absinthum is from apsinthion, meaning the same.
In the Garden
Type: Partially-evergreen perennial
Light: Bright sun
Companion Planting: Wormwood is not a good companion plant, and tends to stunt the growth of those planted around it. It also impairs the flavour of coriander and dill.
- Pick flowering tops just as they begin to open. Dry.
- Pick leaves for drying in summer.
- Prune back to within 15cm of the ground at the end of the growing season.
- Only feed in summer.
- Keep watering to a minimum over winter.