Scientific Name: Artemisia absinthium

Common Name: absinthe

Other Common Names: absinth wormwood

Habit: Seedlings emerge throughout the growing season, bearing 2mm long and 1mm wide ovate cotyledons with a powdery appearance on the upper side. Later leaves are deeply lobed and covered with dense soft hairs. The mature plant has several silvery gray stems emerging from a woody root as large as 1.25 cm in diameter. Stems are hairy when young and become hairless with age, and can grow up to 2 m tall. This plant has a strong sage like odor.

Leaves: Grayish green on both sides, leaves are 3-10 cm long. Long stalked lower leaves are divided 2 to 3 times into segments 1.5 to 4 mm wide. The upper most leaves are stalkless, simple, lance-shaped and 1-2 cm long.

Identifying Characteristics: Sage odor, nodding flower heads, grayish green leaves divided 2-3 times into narrow segments.

Flower Seed Head: Small grayish green with yellow brown centers, the nodding flower heads emerge from the axils of the upper leaves. Flower heads are usually 2-3 mm high and 3-5 mm wide, each plant may produce as many as 1,500 heads with 36 florets per head.

Seed Fruit: A single seeded achene. The seeds 0.8 to 1.1 mm long and less than 0.4 mm wide are smooth, light-brown, and club-shaped. Each plant is capable of producing 50,000 seeds that may remain viable in the soil for several years.

Where Found: Throughout Canada and northern two-thirds of the United States in pastures, populations increase as livestock graze more palatable species.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Asteraceae

  • Leaf arrangement: alternate

  • Leaf shape: lance

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: lobed

  • Stem hairs: has hairs; no hairs

  • Flower color: green; yellow

  • Growth habit: upright and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple; pinnate

  • Leaf hairs: no hairs; has hairs

  • Flower symmetry: radial symetery

  • Flower diameter: pencil

  • Root structure: taproot

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf