Artemisia vulgaris

Scientific Name Artemisia vulgaris L.
Synonyms Artemisia var. cinerascens Rouy, var. major Rouy, var. parvifolia Rouy., Artemisia ssp. verlotiorum Lamotte
Common Names English: Mugwort, Common Wormwoot; German: Beifuß, Besenkraut, Gänsekraut; French: armoise; Spanish: artemisia vulgar; Italian: artemisia
Description Tall herbaceous perennial plant growing 1-2 m (3.28 - 6.56 ft), rarely 2.5 m (8.20 ft) tall with short persistent rhizomes.


Characteristic Features

Leaves white on the under-surfaces, leaf segments pointed, not blunt.


Erect stem often has a red-purplish tinge.


Leaves are 5 to 10 cm (1.97 - 3.93 inch) long, 2,5 to 7,5 cm (0.98 - 2.95 inch) wide, alternately arranged on the stem, deeply lobed, with a distinctive aroma. Leaves on the upper portions of the plant are more deeply lobed and may lack petioles. Leaf undersides are covered with soft, white to gray hairs, while upper leaf surfaces may be smooth to slightly hairy.

Propagation Organs


Flowers are inconspicuous and occur in clusters at the top of the plant.

Flowering Period



Achene that encloses the seed.


Germination in early spring.

Viability of Seeds

Seeds have remained viable in cultivated soil for at least 5 years. Seed production per plant ranges from 50,000 to 700,000.


Mugwort also propagates vegetatively from small rhizome segments.



Waste places and roadsides.


Nitrogenous soils.

Additional Crop Information

Soybean, pastures, hayfields.

Agricultural Importance

Mugwort is an aggressive weed that can rapidly colonize new areas, often forming dense monospecific stands. It is spread or transported by cultivation equipment or also in burlapped nursery stock contaminated with rhizomes. Rhizomes can penetrate to a depth of 7-18 cm (2.75 - 7.08 inch) in soil. The flower stems die in autumn and leave a number of separate rhizomes that develop new shoots and overwinter as low leaf rosettes. It can become a serious problem in no-till or reduced tillage fields.


Useful non-chemical contribution to Integrated Weed Management

Hoeing, spudding and hand pulling, or by frequent cutting when growing at the margins of fields. Deep and intensive tillage may reduce the weed.

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