Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Russian Tarragon, False Tarragon, Dragon Wormwood, Dragon Sagwort
Artemisia dracunculoides

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Artemisia (ar-te-MIZ-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: dracunculoides (drak-un-kew-LOY-deez) (Info)

Synonym:Artemisia dracunculus subsp. dracunculoides

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7 members have or want this plant for trade.

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18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Green

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From softwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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to view:

By lehua_mc
Thumbnail #1 of Artemisia dracunculoides by lehua_mc

By lehua_mc
Thumbnail #2 of Artemisia dracunculoides by lehua_mc

By lehua_mc
Thumbnail #3 of Artemisia dracunculoides by lehua_mc


2 positives
2 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative DannyJoe On Jul 24, 2013, DannyJoe from York, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Invasive. No flavor at all.

Positive lehua_mc On Aug 25, 2009, lehua_mc from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have to admit I did not grow this for its culinary use, as it is generally inferior to the French, but I have used it in my cooking. This summer I plan a cook-off taste-test between it and my new French. Perhaps some find it weedy, but I was wanted a loose, romantic, billowy sort of mixed bed, and that I did get. It is spreading by the roots, and since I was heavy in my seeding of it, I have some to divide. It got to about 3 to 4 feet tall in the first summer, however floppy, so I would recommend a light cage to prevent smothering of the surrounding. The Russian did not have proper "flowers" the first summer, this year will be a continuation of a great experiment. It died back to the ground in late fall, but is now the one of the first herbaceous plants to come back up (February zone 8), with the chives and garlic chives.

Negative wallaby1 On May 13, 2006, wallaby1 from Lincoln
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

I grew this from seed some years ago. I was very disappointed with the lack of flavour of any sort, the smell if anything was slightly bitter. I dug it up, and bought a pot of the French tarragon when it became available. I have had this one for several years in a pot, kept in a cold greenhouse and it survives, also the smell of leaves when crushed is a distinct anise scent.

Neutral Robie On Jul 17, 2005, Robie from Virginia Beach, VA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Seed frequently sold as Artemisia redowski.

Positive walkerboh On Aug 16, 2003, walkerboh wrote:

The package said Russian Tarragon; however from what I have read here, it has a faint smell. The plant I have grown has a strong licorice smell to me.

Neutral Terry On Jan 21, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Not nearly as flavorful as true French Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus), this species has a distinct advantage: it sets viable seed, and can be raised from seed, making it more readily obtainable. It is still useful for flavoring vinegar and dishes where a faint tarragon flavor is desired.

If you are wondering which Tarragon you have, the seed (or lack of it) is a good clue.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Opelika, Alabama
Iowa City, Iowa
Portland, Oregon
York, South Carolina

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