Plants relating to the Goddess Artemis, the Hellenic deity of forests, hills, virginity and hunting.
Notable species include Wormwood (A. absinthum) and Mugwort (A. vulgaris): both are common medicinals and, although the latter is occasionally mistaken for the former, they can be distinguished by the colour of the underside of the leaves (white or silver on Mugwort, silter on Wormwood), the topside of the leaves (green on Mugwort, silver on Wormwood) and the showiness of the foliage (Wormwood has more notable blooms).
All species of Artemesia should be used with care and should not be taken for longer than one week without a break of several weeks. Continuous, prolonged use of Artemisias may cause nerve damage.
Mugwort, Cronewort or Common Wormwood (A. vulgaris meaning “common Artemesia”) is a hardy, daisy-like plant, growing as a weed and preferring full sun and nitrogen-rich soil. Mugwort can read 1-2m tall with age.
The distinguishing features of the plant are a rich, purple-red colouring of the stem, most-evident at the base, and it’s feathered, pinately-lobed leaves. The foliage is green on top and silvered and furry underneath. Crushing Mugwort leaves gives a spiced and distinctive aroma.
An oft-used plant (hence the “wort” suffix, meaning a plant with a use or benefit), Mugwort is found planted beside old paths, canals and thoroughfares.
- ↑ The leaves branch equally at either side of the leaf, forming ‘lobes’. Oak trees are a common example of a plant with pinately-lobed leaves.