Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Absinthe, Absinth, Wormwood, Mugwort
Artemisia absinthium

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Artemisia (ar-te-MIZ-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: absinthium (ab-SIN-thee-um) (Info)

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

53 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

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

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

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

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There are a total of 15 photos.
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9 positives
4 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Ted_B On Oct 16, 2014, Ted_B from Birmingham, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

Relatively easy to grow. Plants tend to grow taller and more upright in cooler climates, and oftentimes more wiry and shrubby in hotter regions and in poorer, drier soils.

There are multiple cultivars of this plant. The common variety found in nursery/seed commerce, while an attractive garden plant, exhibits acridly bitter foliage and is relatively one-dimensional with respect to aromatics. These plants are comparable to those originating from Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

A somewhat more pleasantly aromatic cultivar of A. absinthium (see my image) originates from the Val de Travers (VdT) region of Western Switzerland, the foliage exhibiting more of a silvery green tint, and is cultivated by the local absinthe distillers.

Perhaps the most highly regarded cultivar for the absinthe industry is that indigenous to Eastern France (Pontarlier), which has darker, greener foliage than the Swiss plant, and possesses a delightful, distinctly minty aromatic profile that distinguishes it from other varieties.

Neutral Gascoigne On Jun 26, 2013, Gascoigne from Shawnee Mission, KS (Zone 5a) wrote:

The true plant to the species, absinthe absinthianium, is the only kind used for absinthe making. I obtained seeds (look like powder) which sprouted very readily....i now have two large plants 3' in diameter....and if I let it flower, (which i do Not) ....i will have hundreds of babies. It is easily pulled like a weed when young--- much more difficult once established. I find the smell of the foliage downright awful....i wanted it for the look of the foliage without the cost of the patented new cultivars...which probably are sterile...serves me right. It is beautiful....and i guess worth the trouble.

It is no more invasive, however, than my caryopteris....and i have the patented varieties of those. I have TONS of those everywhere too.

If you don't mind weeding a lot, and love the foliage...grow it. It is a very unique texture and the mother plants become beautiful orbs of grey-green wistfulness that you can chop down to the crown before it flowers to prevent volunteer seedlings next season.

Neutral Lauribob On Feb 20, 2012, Lauribob from Twisp, WA wrote:

I started some from seed and put in my herb garden. What a thug! It's very large and not well mannered, I will be moving out to a wilder area this spring.

Positive ogon On Jun 23, 2011, ogon from Paradise, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I love the delicate look of the grey folliage as a backdrop and to brighten dark shade. Tolerates full sun, extreme heat, and drought without a problem.

Positive Toots136 On Mar 29, 2010, Toots136 from Glendale, AZ wrote:

I love this plant, the compact mounds, the smell, everything. I had this plant back in Illinois but never allowed it to show it's potential. Moved here to Arizona and saw it in a neighbor's yard and was given a nice bunch. I planted it around my tree in the front and it gave a beautiful contrast to my green plants. Later I found Artemisia Oriental Limelight with their yellow/lime green leaves and planted it among the mugwort. WOW!!! What a great combination!!! The 2 were made for each other. They both take the super hot Arizona sun, can withstand the lack of water and will accept some neglect. Hope I'm never without this pair.

Positive giftgas On Mar 21, 2009, giftgas from Everson, WA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Slow growing, and not invasive (except for the 30k seeds dropped by each plant).

Positive turektaylor On Dec 22, 2008, turektaylor from Elizabeth City, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

i don't have a problem w/this one. it pretty much keeps to itself and i love having the silver color all year

Positive spanky_MD On Nov 9, 2008, spanky_MD from Baltimore, MD wrote:

Vigorous and hardy but not invasive in my zone 7 Maryland shade garden.

Deer have not touched this plant but have eaten the hostas around it to the ground. I plan to take cuttings and use it as a barrier around other plants that the deer like. The soft gray-green foliage is a nice foil for plants with glossy green foliage.

Negative Joan On Apr 1, 2007, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

This plant is listed on the North Dakota invasive/troublesome list and this information is being distributed in a guide developed by the ND Weed Control Association and other agencies.

Plant Features
Perennial, up to 4 feet tall
Leaves 2 to 5 inches long, deeply divided, grayish in color from a distance
Single to multiple hairy stems from base
Previous years stems woody, erect
Crushed plants have a strong sage odor
Early spring emergence from seed or at the base of previous year's plants
Abundant, small, 1/8 inch yellowish flowers on the upper 2/3 of each stem
Blooms in July and August
Large taproot
Produces a very large amount of seed

Widespread invasive found on disturbed sites in grasslands, roadsides, gravel pits, etc. Spreads mostly by seed through contaminated hay and equipment

Interesting Facts
Herb, used for sinus colds and liniments
Pollen considered an allergen
Bitter tasting, can taint milk if ingested
Sheep graze readily (crude protein 25%)

Positive vossner On Feb 9, 2007, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I love the silver foliage. Mine is no problem as it is in a pot. I whack it hard every year for a bushy look.

Neutral justfurkids On Oct 16, 2006, justfurkids from Toone, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Years ago, I grew this plant at the request of my ex-husband in Pittsburgh PA. He used it to make homemade Absinthe, which tasted like Ouzo. Sorry, I don't remember the recipe.

Negative caron On Nov 25, 2004, caron from Woodland Park, CO (Zone 4b) wrote:

Colorado Class B Noxious Weed. Mandatory eradication in all counties except Garfield.
All locations of this plant in Colorado should be immediately reported to the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

Positive Egglantinerose On Jul 14, 2004, Egglantinerose from Zionsville, IN wrote:

Hi Everyone,
I love wormwood. The aroma is what I like about it. The gray/green foliage is lovely against other plants.
I don't find it invasive.
Isn't this the plant they made the liquore Absinthe and it
was baned in almost all countries but France.


Positive CatskillKarma On Jul 13, 2004, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:

Not at all invasive in my zone 4b garden with heavy clay soil. Very pretty. I use branches of it for discouraging moths in my clothes closet. It does not stand upright readily in my garden--I let it flop over onto a low stone wall and it makes a well-behaved cloud, with lavender on one side and lady's mantle on the other.

Neutral jhyshark On Jul 12, 2004, jhyshark from Scottville, MI (Zone 4b) wrote:

Yes, it's very invasive, but makes a nice backdrop for other plants. The foliage is the feature, the flowers are insignificant. Mine gets about 4' tall even in very poor soil. See pix of babies as well as plant in mid-July


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

Birmingham, Alabama
Glendale, Arizona
Hereford, Arizona
Paradise, California
Richmond, California
Santa Rosa, California
Ventura, California
Bradenton, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Zolfo Springs, Florida
Clarkesville, Georgia
Valdosta, Georgia
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Barbourville, Kentucky
Prospect, Kentucky
Slaughter, Louisiana
Falmouth, Maine
Lutherville Timonium, Maryland
Scottville, Michigan
Blue Springs, Missouri
Saint Louis, Missouri
Plainfield, New Jersey
Schenectady, New York
Wallkill, New York
West Kill, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Belfield, North Dakota
Stow, Ohio
Gold Hill, Oregon
Denver, Pennsylvania
Jessup, Pennsylvania
Monessen, Pennsylvania
Bay City, Texas
Houston, Texas
Richmond, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
Leesburg, Virginia
Seattle, Washington
Twisp, Washington

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