Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Mugwort, Sailor's Tobacco, Felon Herb
Artemisia vulgaris

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Artemisia (ar-te-MIZ-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: vulgaris (vul-GAIR-iss) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

26 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 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:
Sun to Partial Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
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:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From semi-hardwood 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
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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There are a total of 11 photos.
Click here to view them all!


1 positive
2 neutrals
4 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative coriaceous On Feb 8, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is the common perennial weed, mugwort. It spreads quickly and aggressively both underground and by seed. This is a bad neighbor to other plants in beds and borders. The wide-ranging underground runners are impossible to dig out once they invade the crowns of other perennials.

The flowers are ornamentally insignificant, but they still produce seeds in large numbers.

This plant is easily controlled with 1% generic glyphosate herbicide.

If you like the foliage, there are better plants without the maintenance headaches this one involves. Try some other artemisia species.

Negative jgrandma On Oct 21, 2008, jgrandma from Denver, CO wrote:

This plant entered my yard in a tree root ball that was planted by the home builder. It took a while to find out what it is. It is a weed that is very hard to get rid of. I pull and pull, but so far it is still here. From my research I learned that it can be a pest in nurseries and often gets passed on from them.

Positive bonitin On Jul 30, 2008, bonitin from Gent
Belgium (Zone 8a) wrote:

I think this plant is very beautiful for people with natural and vast gardens. I saw some very tall specimens growing in a nature reserve area close to where I live. I found them georgeous with the purplish stems and the silvery foliage that set off all the surrounding plants so beautifully. I definitely would grow it if I had the space for it.

Negative sladeofsky On Apr 27, 2008, sladeofsky from Louisville, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

Nasty! Nasty weed! This is one of the toughest weeds I've fought. At first I thought it was some sort of Mum. But No! Very difficult to get rid of, or even put a dent into. The leaves smell nice, but that charm wears off after getting to smell it every day as you dig and pull. If you really want to grow this, stick with a container and pluck the flowerheads. I would consider paving your garden before planting this.

Neutral spidra On Oct 27, 2007, spidra from Berkeley, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Definitely tall and vigorous. Thus you need to really consider where you plant it. It's a useful herb. Probably best grown in a container unless you own acres of land.

Negative branches On Feb 28, 2006, branches from Seaford, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

This perennial 'weed' is destroying some native grasslands (especially in Long Island,NY). It is difficult to remove by hand (it has underground stems that grow back if left behind), it produces an abundance of seeds, and in my opinion it's flowers are not attractive.

Neutral Lilith On May 4, 2002, Lilith from Durham
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

A tall plant with deeply divided dark-green leaves, silvery beneath, and branched clusters of insignificant reddish-brown flower-heads. Common along roadsides, it often has a dusty, neglected look. In ancient times it was believed to have magical properties. Mugwort has many uses, as a herbalist medicine, to repel insects, to flavour ale, or as a herb for stuffing ducks and geese.


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

Tuskegee, Alabama
Phoenix, Arizona
Berkeley, California
Denver, Colorado
Westbrook, Connecticut
Orange Springs, Florida
Satsuma, Florida
Mc Dowell, Kentucky
Slaughter, Louisiana
Hampden, Massachusetts
Mashpee, Massachusetts
Plainfield, New Jersey
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Taylor, Texas
Salt Lake City, Utah

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