Mugwort Artemisia vulgaris, photographed by Christian Fischer.

Belongs within: Anthemideae.
Contains: Artemisia section Tridentatae.

Artemisia, including sagebrushes and wormwoods, is a mostly Northern Hemisphere genus of usually strong-smelling, wind-pollinated herbs and shrubs. Notable species include wormwood A. absinthium, used to make the spirit absinthe, and tarragon A. dracunculus, used as a culinary herb.

Characters (from L. M. Shultz): Annuals, biennials, perennials, subshrubs, or shrubs, 3–350 cm (usually, rarely not, aromatic). Stems 1–10+, usually erect, usually branched, glabrous or hairy (hairs basi- or medifixed). Leaves basal or basal and cauline; alternate; petiolate or sessile; blades filiform, linear, lanceolate, ovate, elliptic, oblong, oblanceolate, obovate, cuneate, flabellate, or spatulate, usually pinnately and/or palmately lobed, sometimes apically ± 3-lobed or -toothed, or entire, faces glabrous or hairy (hairs multicelled and filled with aromatic terpenoids and/or 1-celled and hollow, dolabriform, T-shaped). Heads usually discoid, sometimes disciform (subradiate in A. bigelovii), in relatively broad, paniculiform arrays, or in relatively narrow, racemiform or spiciform arrays. Involucres campanulate, globose, ovoid, or turbinate, 1.5–8 mm diam. Phyllaries persistent, 2–20+ in 4–7 series, distinct, (usually green to whitish green, rarely stramineous) ovate to lanceolate, unequal, margins and apices (usually green or white, rarely dark brown or black) ± scarious (abaxial faces glabrous or hairy). Receptacles flat, convex, or conic (glabrous or hairy), epaleate (rarely paleate). Ray florets absent(peripheral pistillate florets in disciform heads usually 1–20, their corollas filiform; corollas of 1–3 pistillate florets in heads of A. bigelovii sometimes ± 2-lobed, weakly raylike). Disc florets 2–20(–30+), bisexual and fertile, or functionally staminate; corollas (glabrous or ± hirtellous) usually pale yellow, rarely red, tubes ± cylindric, throats subglobose or funnelform, lobes 5, ± deltate. Cypselae (brown) fusiform, ribs 0 (and faces finely striate) or 2–5, faces glabrous or hairy (not villous), often gland-dotted (pericarps sometimes with myxogenic cells, without resin sacs; embryo sac development monosporic); pappi usually absent (rarely coroniform, sometimes on outer in A. rothrockii). x = 9.

<==Artemisia Linnaeus 1778 M79
    |--A. subg. Artemisia M79
    |    |  i. s.: A. californica M79
    |    |         A. frigida M79
    |    |         A. ludoviciana M79
    |    |           |--A. l. ssp. ludoviciana H93
    |    |           |--A. l. ssp. albula H93
    |    |           |--A. l. ssp. candicans H93
    |    |           `--A. l. ssp. incompta H93
    |    |--A. sect. Artemisia TV01
    |    |    |--A. armeniaca TV01
    |    |    |--A. biennis TV01
    |    |    |--A. chamaemelifolia TV01
    |    |    |--A. incana TV01
    |    |    |--A. tournefortiana TV01
    |    |    `--A. vulgaris TV01
    |    `--A. sect. Absinthium M79
    |         |--A. austriaca TV01
    |         |    |--A. a. var. austriaca TV01
    |         |    `--A. a. var. advena TV01
    |         `--A. splendens TV01
    |--A. subg. Dracunculus M79
    |    |--A. dracunculus M79
    |    |--A. filifolia M79
    |    |--A. marschalliana TV01
    |    |--A. pedatifida M79
    |    |--A. scoparia TV01
    |    `--A. spinescens [=Picrothamnus spinescens] M79
    `--A. subg. Seriphidium M79
         |--A. sect. Seriphidium TV01
         |    |--A. ciniformis TV01
         |    |--A. fragrans TV01
         |    |--A. gypsacea TV01
         |    `--A. kopetdaghensis TV01
         `--A. sect. Tridentatae M79

Artemisia incertae sedis:
  A. absinthium C55
  A. alba R-CT01
  A. annua H93
  A. asiatica S00
  A. caerulencens M79
  A. campestris H93
    |--A. c. ssp. campestris H93
    `--A. c. ssp. borealis H93
  A. capillaris O88
  A. carruthi BT87
  A. caruifolia O88
  A. caudata NC01
  A. douglasiana H93
  A. gmelinii O88
  A. herba-alba L98
  A. judaica TV01
  A. lucentica TV01
  A. michauxiana H93
  A. monosperma L98
  A. nesiotica [incl. A. californica var. insulare] H93
  A. nilagirica D07
  A. norvegica H93
    |--A. n. ssp. norvegica H93
    `--A. n. ssp. saxatilis H93
  A. princeps MH98
  A. pycnocephala H93
  A. reptans TV01
  A. roxburghiana O88
    |--A. r. var. roxburghiana O88
    `--A. r. var. purpurascens O88
  A. scopulorum GS99
  A. sieversiana O88
  A. stricta O88
  A. suksdorfii H93
  A. wallichiana O88

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BT87] Baker, E. W., & D. M. Tuttle. 1987. The false spider mites of Mexico (Tenuipalpidae: Acari). United States Department of Agriculture, Technical Bulletin 1706: 1–237.

[C55] Candolle, A. de. 1855. Géographie Botanique Raisonée: Ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle vol. 2. Librairie de Victor Masson: Paris.

[D07] Dash, S. S. 2007. Useful plants of Kabi Sacred Grove, Sikkim. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 49: 79–88.

[GS99] Galen, C., & M. L. Stanton. 1999. Seedling establishment in alpine buttercups under experimental manipulations of growing-season length. Ecology 80: 2033–2044.

[H93] Hickman, J. C. (ed.) 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. University of California Press: Berkeley (California).

[L98] Lienhard, C. 1998. Faune de France. France et Régions Limitrophes. 83. Psocoptères Euro-Méditerranéens. Fédération Française des Sociétés de Sciences Naturelles: Paris.

[M79] McArthur, E. D. 1979. Sagebrush systematics and evolution. In: The Sagebrush Ecosystem: A Symposium pp. 14–22. Utah State University: Logan.

[MH98] Morikawa, H., A. Higaki, M. Nohno, M. Takahashi, M. Kamada, M. Nakata, G. Toyohara, Y. Okamura, K. Matsui, S. Kitani, K. Fujita, K. Irifune & N. Goshima. 1998. More than a 600-fold variation in nitrogen dioxide assimilation among 217 plant taxa. Plant, Cell and Environment 21: 180–190.

[NC01] Nekola, J. C., & B. F. Coles. 2001. Systematics and ecology of Gastrocopta (Gastrocopta) rogersensis (Gastropoda: Pupillidae), a new species of land snail from the Midwest of the United States of America. Nautilus 115 (3): 105–114.

[O88] Ohba, H. 1988. The alpine flora of the Nepal Himalayas: an introductory note. In: Ohba, H., & S. B. Malla (eds) The Himalayan Plants vol. 1. The University Museum, University of Tokyo, Bulletin 31: 19–46.

[R-CT01] Ragusa-di Chiara, S., & H. Tsolakis. 2001. Phytoseiid faunas of natural and agricultural ecosystems in Sicily. In: Halliday, R. B., D. E. Walter, H. C. Proctor, R. A. Norton & M. J. Colloff (eds) Acarology: Proceedings of the 10th International Congress pp. 522–529. CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.

[S00] Siddiqi, M. R. 2000. Tylenchida: Parasites of plants and insects 2nd ed. CABI Publishing: Wallingford (UK).

[TV01] Torrell, M., J. Vallès, N. Garcia-Jacas, V. Mozaffarian & E. Gabrielian. 2001. New or rare chromosome counts in the genus Artemisia L. (Asteraceae, Anthemideae) from Armenia and Iran. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 135 (1): 51–60.

Last updated: 18 January 2019.

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