Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Regional Distribution in the Western United States

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This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):



Not applicable

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Occurrence in North America



CT   IL   KS   MA   MN   ME    UT   VT   NS

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Southernwood has a long history of cultivation in the Old World and its region of origin is uncertain. It is thought to be native to the Mediterranean [4,13]. It is an introduced species of minor importance in the United States and southern Canada. It has escaped from cultivation in the Northeast and occurs there sparingly. It is adventive in the Great Plains and the Intermountain region [8,9,13,23].

  • 9. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 4. Davis, P. H., ed. 1975. Flora of Turkey and the East Aegean Islands. Edinburgh, Great Britian: Edinburgh University Press. 890 p. [28275]
  • 8. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 13. McArthur, E. Durant; Stevens, Richard. 1986. Composite shrubs. Unpublished manuscript on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Labortory, Missoula, MT. 155 p. [7342]
  • 23. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the terms: cypsela, forb, shrub

Southernwood is an introduced shrub or perennial forb from 1.6 to 6.6 feet (0.5-2.0 m) tall. It is woody at the base and much branched in form [8,9]. The inflorescence is an open panicle with multiple flowerheads. The fruit is a cypsela bearing a tiny seed [9].

  • 9. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 8. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]

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Description

Perennials or subshrubs, 50–130(–170) cm (not cespitose), aromatic (roots thick, woody). Stems relatively numerous, erect, brown, branched, (woody, brittle), glabrous or sparsely hairy. Leaves cauline, dark green; blades broadly ovate, (2–)3–6 × 0.02–0.15 cm, 2–3-pinnatifid (lobes linear or filiform), faces sparsely hairy (abaxial) or glabrous (adaxial). Heads (nodding at maturity) in open, widely branched arrays 10–30 × 2–10 cm. Involucres ovoid, (1–)2–3.5 × (1–)2–2.5 mm. Phyllaries oblong-elliptic, sparsely hairy. Florets: pistillate 4–8(–15); bisexual 14–16(–20); corollas yellow, 0.5–1 mm, glandular. Cypselae (light brown) ellipsoid (2–5-angled, flattened, furrowed), 0.5–1 mm, glabrous. 2n = 18.
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Ecology

Habitat

Key Plant Community Associations



Southernwood rarely persists after cultivation and is not an important member of plant communities in the United States [14].

  • 14. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 1986. (Revised edition). Guide to the vascular flora of Illinois. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. 507 p. [17383]

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Habitat: Ecosystem

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This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):



FRES29 Sagebrush

FRES36 Mountain grasslands

FRES38 Plains grasslands

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Habitat: Rangeland Cover Types

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This species is known to occur in association with the following Rangeland Cover Types (as classified by the Society for Range Management, SRM):



Not applicable

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Habitat: Cover Types

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This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):



Not applicable

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Habitat characteristics

Southernwood occurs on disturbed sites such as roadsides and open fields [8,9,14]. It grows in moderately acid to moderately alkaline soils and tolerates elevations above 10,000 feet (3,050 m) [13,15].

  • 9. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 8. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 13. McArthur, E. Durant; Stevens, Richard. 1986. Composite shrubs. Unpublished manuscript on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Labortory, Missoula, MT. 155 p. [7342]
  • 14. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 1986. (Revised edition). Guide to the vascular flora of Illinois. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. 507 p. [17383]
  • 15. Plummer, A. Perry. 1974. Oldman wormwood to stabilize disturbed areas. Utah Science. 1974 March: 26-27. [1900]

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Habitat: Plant Associations

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This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):



Not applicable

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Associations

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / parasite
Erysiphe artemisiae parasitises Artemisia abrotanum

Foodplant / sap sucker
nymph of Plagiognathus albipennis sensu S. & L. sucks sap of Artemisia abrotanum
Other: major host/prey

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General Ecology

Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: root crown, top-kill

Southernwood probably sprouts from the root crown after top-kill by fire.

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Immediate Effect of Fire

Southernwood is probably top-killed by fire.

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the terms: adventitious, shrub

tall shrub, adventitious bud/root crown

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Fire Ecology

More info for the terms: root crown, top-kill

Response of southernwood to fire has not been documented in the literature. Since southernwood sprouts from the root crown after top-kill by agents other than fire, it probably sprouts from the root crown after fire has removed topgrowth. Southernwood twigs are killed by freezing temperatures when twigs are not insulated by snow. In spring, southernwood sprouts from the root crown after winter dieback. Southernwood also sprouts from the root crown after heavy browsing. Plummer [15] reported that southernwood is more vigorous when topgrowth is removed regularly.

Southernwood regeneration by seed after fire is probably insignificant.

  • 15. Plummer, A. Perry. 1974. Oldman wormwood to stabilize disturbed areas. Utah Science. 1974 March: 26-27. [1900]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

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More info for the term: phanerophyte

Phanerophyte

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Life Form

More info for the term: shrub

shrub

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Regeneration Processes

Southernwood reproduces by seed but is poorly adapted to do so in North America. It flowers late in the growing season and produces few viable seeds. Seedlings are rare [13,15,16,20].

  • 13. McArthur, E. Durant; Stevens, Richard. 1986. Composite shrubs. Unpublished manuscript on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Labortory, Missoula, MT. 155 p. [7342]
  • 15. Plummer, A. Perry. 1974. Oldman wormwood to stabilize disturbed areas. Utah Science. 1974 March: 26-27. [1900]
  • 16. Plummer, A. Perry. 1977. Revegetation of disturbed Intermountain area sites. In: Thames, J. C., ed. Reclamation and use of disturbed lands of the Southwest. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press: 302-337. [171]
  • 20. Stark, N. 1966. Review of highway planting information appropriate to Nevada. Bull. No. B-7. Reno, NV: University of Nevada, College of Agriculture, Desert Research Institute. 209 p. In cooperation with: Nevada State Highway Department. [47]

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

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Southernwood flowers in late August or September in the Great Plains, the Midwest and the Northeast [8,9,14]. Seeds usually do not reach maturity. Plants in the Intermountain region rarely flower [15].

  • 9. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 8. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 14. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 1986. (Revised edition). Guide to the vascular flora of Illinois. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. 507 p. [17383]
  • 15. Plummer, A. Perry. 1974. Oldman wormwood to stabilize disturbed areas. Utah Science. 1974 March: 26-27. [1900]

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Artemisia abrotanum

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Management

These species are introduced in Switzerland.
  • Aeschimann, D. & C. Heitz. 2005. Synonymie-Index der Schweizer Flora und der angrenzenden Gebiete (SISF). 2te Auflage. Documenta Floristicae Helvetiae N° 2. Genève.   http://www.crsf.ch/ External link.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

More info for the term: reclamation

Southernwood has been used for rehabilitation of rangelands and mine spoils in the Intermountain region. It withstands drought and prolonged freezing temperatures and is recommended for soil stabilization and as a nurse plant [12,16]. Southernwood is established by outplanting of stem cuttings. In the Intermountain region, survivorship of transplants in the first few years after outplanting has been good to excellent [5,17]. Southernwood probably will not persist on reclamation sites due to poor reproduction
(see: REGENERATION).

  • 5. Everett, Richard L.; Meeuwig, Richard O.; Butterfield, Richard I. 1980. Revegetation of untreated acid spoils Leviathan mine, Alpine County, California. California Geology. 32(1): 8-10. [895]
  • 12. McArthur, E. Durant; Giunta, Bruce C.; Plummer, A. Perry. 1977. Shrubs for restoration of depleted range and disturbed areas. Utah Science. 35: 28-33. [25035]
  • 16. Plummer, A. Perry. 1977. Revegetation of disturbed Intermountain area sites. In: Thames, J. C., ed. Reclamation and use of disturbed lands of the Southwest. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press: 302-337. [171]
  • 17. Plummer, A. Perry; Christensen, Donald R.; Monsen, Stephen B. 1968. Restoring big-game range in Utah. Publ. No. 68-3. Ephraim, UT: Utah Division of Fish and Game. 183 p. [4554]

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Other uses and values

Southernwood is planted as an ornamental [8,23]. It is used as a medicinal plant for its muscle relaxant properties [2].

  • 2. Bergendorff, Ola; Sterner, Olov. 1995. Spasmolytic flavonols from Artemisia abrotanum. Planta Medica. 61(4): 370-371. [28274]
  • 8. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 23. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]

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Palatability



Southernwood is moderately palatable to mule deer and other wild ungulates [1,17]. Palatability is good for domestic sheep [17].

  • 1. Austin, D. D.; Hash, A. B. 1988. Minimizing browsing damage by deer: Landscape planning for wildlife. Utah Science. Fall: 66-70. [6341]
  • 17. Plummer, A. Perry; Christensen, Donald R.; Monsen, Stephen B. 1968. Restoring big-game range in Utah. Publ. No. 68-3. Ephraim, UT: Utah Division of Fish and Game. 183 p. [4554]

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Wikipedia

Artemisia abrotanum

Artemisia abrotanum (southernwood, lad's love, southern wormwood) is a flowering plant. Found in Europe, the genus Artemisia was named for the goddess Artemis. Other common names include: old man, boy's love, oldman wormwood, lover's plant, appleringie, garderobe, Our Lord's wood, maid's ruin, garden sagebrush, European sage, sitherwood and lemon plant.

Southernwood has a strong camphor-like odour and was historically used as an air freshener or strewing herb. It forms a small bushy shrub, which is widely cultivated by gardeners. The grey-green leaves are small, narrow and feathery. The small flowers are yellow. It can easily be propagated by cuttings, or by division of the roots.

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[2]

Uses[edit]

A yellow dye can be extracted from the branches of the plant, for use with wool. Its dried leaves are used to keep moths away from wardrobes. The volatile oil in the leaves is responsible for the strong, sharp, scent which repels moths and other insects. It was customary to lay sprays of the herb amongst clothes, or hang them in closets, and this is the origin of southernwood's French name, "garderobe" ("clothes-preserver"). Judges carried posies of southernwood and rue to protect themselves from prisoners' contagious diseases, and some church-goers relied on the herb's sharp scent to keep them awake during long sermons.[3]

The pungent, scented leaves and flowers are used in herbal teas. Young shoots were used to flavor pastries and puddings. In Italy, it is used as a culinary herb.

A poem by Edward Thomas (1878 - 1917) concerns the herb: | Old Man or Lad's Love

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of all Plant Species". 
  2. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Artemisia abrotanum AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  3. ^ Alice Morse Earle (1851-1911), The Sabbath in Puritan New England, chapter 4.
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Notes

Comments

Artemisia abrotanum has been widely cultivated in gardens for old-time uses such as a fly and parasite repellent. It has had a renewed popularity in xeriscape gardening; it is drought tolerant and can fill difficult garden spaces (e.g., dry rocky slopes). Reports of naturalization may be exaggerated; it is not known to become weedy in any of its known locations in North America.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy



The scientific name of southernwood is Artemisia abrotanum L. [4,8,9,10,23].

  • 9. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 4. Davis, P. H., ed. 1975. Flora of Turkey and the East Aegean Islands. Edinburgh, Great Britian: Edinburgh University Press. 890 p. [28275]
  • 8. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 23. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 10. Kartesz, John T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. Volume I--checklist. 2nd ed. Portland, OR: Timber Press. 622 p. [23877]

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Common Names

southernwood

southern wormwood

oldman wormwood

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