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)




Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage




Foliage Color:



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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

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:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


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

Birmingham, Alabama

Glendale, Arizona

Hereford, Arizona

Paradise, California

Richmond, California

Santa Rosa, California

Valley Center, 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

Holden, Maine

Lutherville Timonium, Maryland

Scottville, Michigan

Blue Springs, Missouri

Saint Louis, Missouri

Plainfield, New Jersey

Bolivar, New York

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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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

Note: "Mugwort" is a common name for A. vulgaris, and is not traditionally associated with A. absinthium.

This plant is 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 variety sold throughout in nursery and seed commerce, while an attractive garden plant, exhibits acridly bitter foliage and is one-dimensional with respect to aromatics. These plants are comparable to those originating from Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

A more pleasantly aromatic cultivar of A. absinthium (see my image) originates from the Val de Travers (VdT) region of Western Switzerland, the foliage exhi... read more


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 weedi... read more


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.


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.


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.


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).


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


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.


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 fo... read more


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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