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  Artemisia vulgaris L.
  Family Name : Asteraceae (Compositae)

  Synonyms : Artemisia vulgaris var. coarctata

  Common Names : Common Mugwort, Common Wormwood, Moxa, Green-ginger, Sailor's Tobacco

  Chinese Name : 艾叶, 艾草, 五月艾

Common Mugwort,Common Wormwood,Moxa,Green-ginger,Sailor's Tobacco
  • Record Info
    • Featured in '1001 Garden Plants in Singapore' Book (2ed) :
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
      Plant Growth Form :
      Lifespan (in Singapore) :
      Mode of Nutrition :
      Plant Shape :
      Maximum Height :
      1.5 m
      Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width :
      0.6 m
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      Northern Africa, Europe, Western Asia, China
      Native Habitat :
      Terrestrial (Grassland / Savannah/ Scrubland; Disturbed Area / Open Ground)
      Preferred Climate Zone :
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: Perennial up to 1.5 m tall which becomes woody at maturity.
      Foliage: Deeply lobed, simple leaves (5-10 cm long, 2.5-7.6 cm wide) resemble a pinnately compound leaf with oblong, irregularly lobed 'leaflets'. The upper leaf surface is green and hairless to sparsely hairy, while the lower surface is white to grey and softly hairy. Upper leaves tend to be more deeply lobed than lower ones. Leaves have a distinct aroma.
      Stems: Stems are usually reddish brown.
      Flowers: Compound flowers known as heads are composed of tiny, reddish brown florets. The heads are arranged in a narrow panicle that looks like a spike inflorescence.
      Fruits: Dry, indehiscent, 1-seeded fruits are known as achenes.
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves)
      Food (Herb & Spice: Leaves aromatic and bitter-tasting, eaten raw or cooked, used as flavouring herb for fatty fishes, stuffing for meat, and as greenish colouring agent for rice dumpings in Japan and Korea.)
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves), Medicinal (One study showed that plant extracts decreased fertility in rats without causing toxic effects (Narwaria et al 1994). According to folk medicine, the herb can be used to remove intestinal worms and improve blood circulation. ), Cultural / Religious (In the Middle Ages, some people believed the herb would protect travelers from fatigue and evil spirits. There are references in some of Shakespeare's plays that the herb was used to wean infants off breast-feeding.)
      [Others]: Whole plant (fresh or dried) repels insects. An infusion of the plant can be used as a general-purpose insecticidal spray which is especially effective against insect larvae. 
  • Landscaping Features
    • Desirable Plant Features :
      Fragrant (Foliage; Stems)
      Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Dry Soils / Drought, Well-Drained Soils, Poor Infertile Soils, Alkaline (high pH) Soils, Disease / Pest Resistant, Easy to Grow, [Remarks] (Tolerates soil pH 4.8 - 8.4.)
      Landscape Uses :
      General, Flowerbed / Border, Container Planting
      Thematic Landscaping :
      Naturalistic Garden, Economic Garden
      Usage Hazards / Cons :
      Irritant - Nasal Allergy, Irritant - Sap, [Remarks] (The consumption of large doses of this plant could be harmful. Depending on the country of origin, essential oil prepared from the plant may contain differing amounts of thujone (Misra and Singh 1986), a compound which may be toxic over prolonged use. It also contains compounds that may induce abortion and may be hazardous to pregnant women. Always consult your doctor before consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.  )
  • Fauna, Pollination & Dispersal
    • Associated Fauna :
      Butterfly Food Plant, Caterpillar Food Plant, Bee-Attracting
      Pollination Method(s) :
      Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Butterfly, Moth))
      Seed / Spore Dispersal :
      Abiotic (Explosive Dehiscence)
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun
      Water Preference :
      Moderate Water, Little Water
      Plant Growth Rate :
      Planting Distance :
      0.6 m to 0.9 m
      Maintenance Requirements :
      Propagation Method :
      Seed, Stem Cutting
  • Foliar
    • Foliage Retention :
      Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Green, Silver / Grey
      Mature Foliage Texture(s) :
      Foliar Type :
      Simple / Unifoliate
      Foliar Arrangement Along Stem :
      Foliar Venation :
      Pinnate / Net
      Foliar Margin :
      Pinnately Lobed / Pinnatifid
      Foliar Apex / Tip :
      Typical Foliar Area :
      Microphyll ( 2.25cm2 - 20.25 cm2 )
      Leaf Area Index (LAI) * for Green Plot Ratio :
      4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)
  • Non-Foliar & Storage
    • Stem Type & Modification :
      Root Type :
      Underground (Fibrous Root)
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower Colour(s) :
      Brown, Cream / Off-White, Red, White
      Flower Grouping :
      Cluster / Inflorescence
      Flower Location :
      Inflorescence Type :
      Head / Capitulum
      Inflorescence Size :
      Remarks (White flowers mature to reddish-brown.)
      Flowering Opening Time :
      Flowering Habit :
  • Fruit, Seed & Spore
    • Fruit Classification :
      Simple Fruit
      Fruit Type :
      Indehiscent Dry Fruit (Achene)
      Seed Quantity per Fruit :
      Few (1-5)
  • References
The information given on this website has been compiled from reference works on medicinal plants and/or pron only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Reliance on this information is strictly at your own risk. You should always consult your physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.

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