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Overview

Distribution

Global Range: A. absinthium may be found from Newfoundland to Manitoba, as far north as Hudson's Bay, and south to Nova Scotia, New England, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey (Britton and Brown 1913, Fernald 1950). In the Midwest, it can be found in Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Minnesota (Fernald 1950). In the Great Plains, it is found in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and the Prairie Provinces of Canada (Britton and Brown 1913, Fernald 1950, Molberg 1976, Wrage and Kinch 1973, Mitich 1975, Schroeder 1979). It is also known to occur in Nebraska and Kansas (McGregor et al. 1977).

Absinth sage is a native of Eurasia, the Middle East, and North Africa (Wrage and Kinch 1973, Mitich 1975). It was introduced to North America in the early part of the 19th century to be cultivated for medicinal and social uses (Mitich 1975), and was first reported outside cultivated gardens in 1841, along roadsides and on waste ground (Torrey and Gray 1841, Mitich 1975).

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Distribution: Temperate Eurasia and N. Africa; introduced and naturalized in USA and Canada.
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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Occurrence in North America

     CO  CT  DE  ID  IL  IN  IA  ME  MD  MA
     MI  MN  MT  NE  NH  NJ  NY  ND  OH  OR
     PA  RI  SD  UT  VT  VA  WA  WI  WY  AB
     BC  MB  NB  NS  ON  PE  PQ  SK

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Absinth wormwood, native to Europe, was introduced to North America in
1841 [15].  It is now naturalized across the northern United States and
in Canada.  It occurs from Nova Scotia west to British Columbia; south
to Oregon and Utah; and east through Colorado and Nebraska to Virginia
[3,6,7,17,27].
  • 3.  Cronquist, Arthur. 1955. Vascular plants of the Pacific Northwest: Part        5: Compositae. Seattle: University of Washington Press. 343 p.  [716]
  • 6.  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]
  • 7.  Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains.        Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p.  [1603]
  • 15.  Maw, M. G.; Thomas, A. G.; Stahevitch, A. 1985. The biology of Canadian        weeds. 66. Artemisia absinthium L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science.        65(2): 389-400.  [23853]
  • 17.  Roland, A. E.; Smith, E. C. 1969. The flora of Nova Scotia. Halifax, NS:        Nova Scotia Museum. 746 p.  [13158]
  • 27.  Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry        C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo,        UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p.  [2944]

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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):

    1  Northern Pacific Border
    2  Cascade Mountains
    5  Columbia Plateau
    8  Northern Rocky Mountains
    9  Middle Rocky Mountains
   10  Wyoming Basin
   11  Southern Rocky Mountains
   12  Colorado Plateau
   13  Rocky Mountain Piedmont
   14  Great Plains
   15  Black Hills Uplift
   16  Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the terms: cypsela, pappus

Absinth wormwood is a nonnative, long-lived, fragrant, perennial herb
that grows each year from a woody base.  An individual plant has 20 or
more stems each growing 1.3 to 4.9 feet (0.4-1.5 m) tall.  The fruit is
a cypsela without a pappus.  The well-developed root system consists of
a taproot occasionally reaching 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter with shallow
lateral branches extending 6 feet in all directions [18].  Absinth
wormwood may be weakly rhizomatous [14,27].  The roots lack the
interxylary bark of some Artemisia spp. which protects the roots from
desiccation [15].
  • 14.  Lym, Rodney G.; Messersmith, Calvin G.; Dexter, Alan G. 1984. Absinth        wormwood control. W-838. Fargo, ND: North Dakota State University,        Cooperative Expernsion Service. 2 p. In cooperation with: U.S.        Department of Agriculture.  [23854]
  • 15.  Maw, M. G.; Thomas, A. G.; Stahevitch, A. 1985. The biology of Canadian        weeds. 66. Artemisia absinthium L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science.        65(2): 389-400.  [23853]
  • 18.  Selleck, G. W.; Coupland, R. T. 1961. Studies in the life history of        Artemisia absinthium. Weeds. 9: 485-490.  [23852]
  • 27.  Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry        C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo,        UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p.  [2944]

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Description

Perennials, 40–60(–100) cm (mat-forming), aromatic. Stems gray-green (sometimes woody proximally), densely canescent to glabrescent (hairs appressed). Leaves deciduous, gray-green; blades broadly ovate, 3–8 × 1–4 cm, mostly pinnately lobed (basal 2–3-pinnatifid, lobes obovate), faces densely canescent. Heads (nodding) in open (diffusely branched), paniculiform arrays 10–20(–35) × (2–)10–13(–15) cm. Involucres broadly ovoid, 2–3 × 3–5 mm. Phyllaries gray-green, densely sericeous. Florets: pistillate 9–20; bisexual 30–50; corollas 1–2 mm, glandular. Cypselae (± cylindric, slightly curved, obscurely nerved), ± 0.5 mm, glabrous (shiny). 2n = 18.
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Description

Perennial, aromatic, densely appressed silky-canescent, upright, up to 1.25 (-1.5) m tall herb with vertical rootstock. Stem terete, mildly striate, minutely punctate glandular, thinly cinereous or glabrate, ± densely foliated and profusely branched in upper part. Basal and lower stem leaves long petioled, petiole up to 10 cm long, lamina broadly ovate, 8-15 x 4-8 cm, 2-3-pinnatisect into linear-oblong to oblanceolate, 4-10 x 2-4 mm, obtuse lobes; upper and middle stem leaves short petioled or subsessile with fewer, mostly lanceolate, ± acute lobes; uppermost in floral region sessile, 3-fid or entire. Capitula heterogamous, short peduncled, depressed globose, 2.5-3.5 x 3-5 mm, nodding in narrow to broad pyramidate panicle with straight ascending or ± oblique spreading, up to 30 cm long primary and up to 12 cm long secondary branches. Involucre 3-4-seriate, outermost phyllaries linear, c. 3 mm long, green, appressed canescent; inner ovate to broadly ovate-orbicular, 1.5-2.5 x 1.25-2 mm, mostly scarious. Receptacle ± flat, densely white hairy. Florets numerous, yellow; marginal florets female, 20-25, fertile, with c. 1.25 mm long, obliquely 2-toothed corolla and flat exserted patent style branches; disc-florets many, bisexual, fertile, with campanulate, 1.5-2 mm long, 5-toothed, glabrous corolla. Cypselas ± oblong-cylindric, 0.8-1 mm long, narrowed to the base, smooth, with oblique corolla attachment.
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Diagnostic Description

Among the Artemisia, A. absinthium can be identified by the pistillate marginal flowers and perfect, fertile central flowers, a receptacle with long, woolly hairs, a coarse stem, and pinnately dissected leaves with oblong to linear-oblong leaf segments (Britton and Brown 1913, Fernald 1950).

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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Absinth generally becomes established in disturbed areas where there is little competition from other plants (Molberg 1971). Preferred habitats include dry soil in roadsides, waste areas, farm yards, pastures, and cropland (Molberg 1871, Schroeder 1979). It is also commonly found in fence rows, possibly as a result of intensive grazing along fences (Maw and Schroeder 1981, Bultsma 1982).

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Habitat characteristics

Absinth wormwood grows on disturbed sites such as along fencelines and
roadsides, on borrow pits and gravel piles, and on overgrazed pastures
and fields recently abandoned from cultivation [15].

Absinth wormwood grows on a variety of soils from gravels to clay loams
[15].  It grows on gravelly soils in Glacier National Park [13], and on
a cobble-gravel substratum on the upstream portion of Columbia River
islands where sand is washed away each spring during high water [8].

Absinth wormwood grows best in moist habitats.  During drought it dies
out on coarse, gravelly soils but survives in ravines and on north-facing
slopes [15,18]. 

Absinth wormwood occurs from 5,000 to 7,000 feet (1,500-2,100 m)
elevation in Colorado [28].
  • 8.  Hammond, Catherine R. 1976. A gallery of herbs: A botanical guide to        some common and uncommon herbs. Horticulture. 54(3): 52-63.  [3025]
  • 13.  Lesica, Peter; Ahlenslager, Kathleen; Desanto, Jerry. 1993. New vascular        plant record and the increase of exotic plants in Glacier National Park,        Montana. Madrono. 40(2): 126-131.  [21049]
  • 15.  Maw, M. G.; Thomas, A. G.; Stahevitch, A. 1985. The biology of Canadian        weeds. 66. Artemisia absinthium L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science.        65(2): 389-400.  [23853]
  • 18.  Selleck, G. W.; Coupland, R. T. 1961. Studies in the life history of        Artemisia absinthium. Weeds. 9: 485-490.  [23852]
  • 28.  Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information        network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and        Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior,        Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p.  [806]

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Key Plant Community Associations

Absinth wormwood primarily grows on disturbed sites within grasslands,
pastures, perennial crops, and on land abandoned from cultivation [18].

In Glacier National Park, absinth wormwood was found growing with
orchard grass (Dactylis glomerata) and mountain hollyhock (Iliamna
rivularis).  On a disturbed site in West Glacier, Montana, absinth
wormwood occurs with creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) and
yellow sweetclover (Melilotus officinalis) [13].

The upstream portion of islands in the Columbia River is dominated by
lupine (Lupinus spp.), arrowleaf buckwheat (Eriogonum compositum), and
absinth wormwood [9].

Absinth wormwood occurs with western snowberry (Symphoricarpos
occidentalis) in moist ravines in Saskatchewan [18].
  • 9.  Hanson, W. C.; Eberhardt, L. L. 1971. A Columbia River Canada goose        population, 1950-1970. Wildlife Monographs No. 28. Washington, DC: The        Wildlife Society. 61 p.  [18164]
  • 13.  Lesica, Peter; Ahlenslager, Kathleen; Desanto, Jerry. 1993. New vascular        plant record and the increase of exotic plants in Glacier National Park,        Montana. Madrono. 40(2): 126-131.  [21049]
  • 18.  Selleck, G. W.; Coupland, R. T. 1961. Studies in the life history of        Artemisia absinthium. Weeds. 9: 485-490.  [23852]

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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):

   FRES10  White - red - jack pine
   FRES11  Spruce - fir
   FRES15  Oak - hickory
   FRES17  Elm - ash - cottonwood
   FRES18  Maple - beech - birch
   FRES19  Aspen - birch
   FRES20  Douglas-fir
   FRES21  Ponderosa pine
   FRES22  Western white pine
   FRES23  Fir - spruce
   FRES25  Larch
   FRES26  Lodgepole pine
   FRES29  Sagebrush
   FRES35  Pinyon - juniper
   FRES36  Mountain grasslands
   FRES37  Mountain meadows
   FRES38  Plains grasslands
   FRES39  Prairie

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The plant grows commonly on moist soils or near water in rocky terrain with sandy-clay soils in North Western mountains, Kashmir and Ladakh from 1000 to 3500 m.
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Associations

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / parasite
hypophyllous cleistothecium of Erysiphe artemisiae parasitises yellowed leaf of Artemisia absinthium
Remarks: season: 9-10

Foodplant / parasite
hypophyllous, effuse colony of Cercospora dematiaceous anamorph of Mycovellosiella ferruginea parasitises live leaf of Artemisia absinthium
Remarks: season: 9-10

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Oxyna parietina feeds within stem of Artemisia absinthium
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Foodplant / feeds on
larva of Paroxyna misella feeds on Artemisia absinthium

Foodplant / saprobe
densely gregarious, abundant pycnidium of Phomopsis coelomycetous anamorph of Phomopsis oblita is saprobic on dead stem of Artemisia absinthium

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

Foodplant / parasite
hypophyllous telium of Puccinia tanaceti parasitises live stem of Artemisia absinthium
Remarks: season: 7-9
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Trupanea stellata feeds within capitulum of Artemisia absinthium

Foodplant / miner
larva of Trypeta artemisiae mines leaf of Artemisia absinthium
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Foodplant / miner
larva of Trypeta zoe mines leaf of Artemisia absinthium

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General Ecology

Fire Management Considerations

More info for the terms: fire severity, fuel, severity

Spring fire can reduce absinth wormwood on northern mixed prairie sites
during years with adequate fuel.  However, abundant green herbaceous
material can reduce fire severity during the spring and thus reduce fire
damage to absinth wormwood [21].
  • 21.  Steuter, Allen A; Plumb, Glenn. 1988. Wormwood sage controlled by spring        fires (South Dakota). Restoration & Management Notes. 6(1): 35.  [69]

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Plant Response to Fire

Absinth wormwood perennating buds will sprout if they survive fire.
Annual early spring prescribed fires were conducted in a South Dakota
prairie infested with absinth wormwood.  Dormant fine fuels ranged from
2,000 to 2,400 kilograms per hectare.  Nearly two-thirds of the absinth
wormwood survived the first fire and regrew, but four consecutive annual
spring fires reduced absinth wormwood by 96 percent [21].
  • 21.  Steuter, Allen A; Plumb, Glenn. 1988. Wormwood sage controlled by spring        fires (South Dakota). Restoration & Management Notes. 6(1): 35.  [69]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

Low-severity fire readily top-kills absinth wormwood and may completely
kill some plants.  Because absinth wormwood perennating buds are at or
near the soil surface, they are susceptible to fire [21].
  • 21.  Steuter, Allen A; Plumb, Glenn. 1988. Wormwood sage controlled by spring        fires (South Dakota). Restoration & Management Notes. 6(1): 35.  [69]

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the terms: caudex, ground residual colonizer

   Caudex, growing points in soil
   Ground residual colonizer (on-site, initial community)

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Fire Ecology

Although top-killed by fire, absinth wormwood probably reestablishes
after fire by sprouting from undamaged perennating buds [21] or
regenerating from buried seed.
  • 21.  Steuter, Allen A; Plumb, Glenn. 1988. Wormwood sage controlled by spring        fires (South Dakota). Restoration & Management Notes. 6(1): 35.  [69]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: tree

Absinth wormwood colonizes open, disturbed sites.  Establishment is
minimal where there is a closed grass stand [15].  Absinth wormwood
seedlings which germinated in an ungrazed stand of needle-and-thread
grass did not survive [18].

Absinthe wormwood tolerates some shade [15].  It was found growing
vigorously within a tree plantation with approximately 60 percent crown
cover [18].
  • 15.  Maw, M. G.; Thomas, A. G.; Stahevitch, A. 1985. The biology of Canadian        weeds. 66. Artemisia absinthium L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science.        65(2): 389-400.  [23853]
  • 18.  Selleck, G. W.; Coupland, R. T. 1961. Studies in the life history of        Artemisia absinthium. Weeds. 9: 485-490.  [23852]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the terms: caudex, rootstock

Absinth wormwood reproduces primarily by seed and is a prolific seed
producer [15,18,24].  Although the small seeds do not have any specific
morphological provision for dispersal, they are easily scattered in hay
and by wind, water, and animals.  The seeds retain their viability for 3
to 4 years [15].  Viable absinth wormwood seeds have been found in the
soil of undisturbed prairie grasslands in North Dakota [11].

Germination rates were measured under various pretreatment and
photoperiod conditions.  Germination was best on moist soils.  It
occurred over a wide range of temperatures between 41 and 104 degrees
Fahrenheit (5-40 deg C) [15].

Absinth wormwood invades extreme northern environments during warm
periods but may not reproduce successfully.  Absinth wormwood was
present in northeastern Manitoba in 1989 but had not produced seeds when
observed in late summer [20].

Maw and others [15] and Staniforth and Scott [20] did not find any
evidence of vegetative reproduction by absinth wormwood.  However,
Selleck and Coupland [18] suggested that absinth wormwood may regenerate
from shallow lateral root branches when plowed.  Welsh and others [27]
reported that absinth wormwood has a rhizomatous caudex, and Lym and
others [14] stated that absinth wormwood may spread by rootstock.
  • 11.  Iverson, Louis R.; Wali, Mohan K. 1982. Buried, viable seeds and their        relation to revegetation after surface mining. Journal of Range        Management. 35(5): 648-652.  [23855]
  • 14.  Lym, Rodney G.; Messersmith, Calvin G.; Dexter, Alan G. 1984. Absinth        wormwood control. W-838. Fargo, ND: North Dakota State University,        Cooperative Expernsion Service. 2 p. In cooperation with: U.S.        Department of Agriculture.  [23854]
  • 15.  Maw, M. G.; Thomas, A. G.; Stahevitch, A. 1985. The biology of Canadian        weeds. 66. Artemisia absinthium L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science.        65(2): 389-400.  [23853]
  • 18.  Selleck, G. W.; Coupland, R. T. 1961. Studies in the life history of        Artemisia absinthium. Weeds. 9: 485-490.  [23852]
  • 20.  Staniforth, Richard J.; Scott, Peter A. 1991. Dynamics of weed        populations in a northern subarctic community. Canadian Journal of        Botany. 69: 814-821.  [14944]
  • 24.  Thomas, A. G. 1991. Floristic composition and relative abundance of        weeds in annual crops of Manitoba. Canadian Journal of Plant Science.        71(3): 831-839.  [21786]
  • 27.  Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry        C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo,        UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p.  [2944]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: hemicryptophyte

   Hemicryptophyte

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Life Form

More info for the term: forb

Forb

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

Absinth wormwood growth begins in early spring and flowerstalks are
produced by mid-July [15].  Absinth wormwood flowers July through
September [3,15,28].  In North Dakota, absinth wormwood began flowering
the second week of August [22].  Seeds mature in early fall.  Seedlings
emerge from early spring to August whenever moisture and warmth are
available.  Rosettes form by the end of the first growing season [15].
  • 3.  Cronquist, Arthur. 1955. Vascular plants of the Pacific Northwest: Part        5: Compositae. Seattle: University of Washington Press. 343 p.  [716]
  • 15.  Maw, M. G.; Thomas, A. G.; Stahevitch, A. 1985. The biology of Canadian        weeds. 66. Artemisia absinthium L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science.        65(2): 389-400.  [23853]
  • 22.  Stevens, O. A. 1956. Flowering dates of weeds in North Dakota. North        Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station Bimonthly Bulletin. 18(6):        209-213.  [5168]
  • 28.  Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information        network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and        Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior,        Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p.  [806]

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Flower/Fruit

Fl. Per.: June-September.
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Life Cycle

Persistence: PERENNIAL

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Reproduction

The life cycle of A. absinthium has been reported by Wrage and Kinch (1973). Growth begins in late April, and new plants are 4-12 inches tall by mid-May. Flowering begins in late July to early August. During late fall, the above-ground portion of the plant dies. Seedlings may emerge at any time from late spring to early fall (Wrage and Kinch 1973). Seedlings may be unnoticed for some time as they are low with small leaves before the upright flowering stems emerge (Wrage and Kinch 1973, Mitich 1975). Seed dispersal can be aided by running water, and root fragments carried by machinery may extend infestations in cultivated areas (Molberg 1976).

Allelopathy has been demonstrated in A. absinthium. Volatile emanations from the leaves of absinth completely prevented germination in wheat (Triticum triticale), and inhibited seedling growth in wheat, hoary cress (Cardaria draba), and common flax (Linum usitatissimums), whereas seedling growth on white mustard (Sinapis alba) was markedly stimulated.

Extracts made from the leaves of A. absinthium prevented germination of all four test species, and extracts of roots prevented germination of wheat and reduced root and shoot elongation in the other three species by 53-85% (Chirca and Fabian 1973).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Artemisia absinthium

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Artemisia absinthium

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 8
Specimens with Barcodes: 9
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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Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable (=10% change)

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Threats

Comments: Absinth sage can create a problem in native grasslands, pastures, and fields by outcompeting grasses and other desirable plants. It generally presents a problem in highly disturbed areas, such as old pastures, and is not considered a threat to well-established prairies (Plumb 1987, McNeil 1987). Cattle usually avoid eating absinth, but will consume it when it is found in hay. Milk from cows that have consumed absinth is strongly flavored and rejected for human consumption; grain containing absinth is similarly tainted and rejected for use in flour (Molberg 1971, Maw and Schroeder 1981).

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Management

Management Requirements: A. absinthium easily becomes established on disturbed areas and may present a threat to the re-establishment of native species in recovering prairies.

For cultivated areas, Molberg (1976) recommended summer fallow followed by fall tillage to eliminate seedlings established in the mid-summer to early fall. Laycock (1979) recommended railing, chaining, rotobeating, discing, or plowing for control of big sagebrush, A. tridentata, and other Artemisia spp., but cautioned that treatment timing is important. If mechanical methods are used after seed set in the fall, the disturbance effect may encourage a good crop of sagebrush seedlings the next year (Laycock 1979).

Mowing: Mowing can be used in pastures and fields, but see "Research Needs Comments." Studies on the native sage A. fififolia suggest that a spring burn at the time of grass green-up will kill back the woody brush tops of the sage, and subsequent resprouting may be controlled by mowing in mid-to-late summer (Launchbaugh and Owensby 1978). It is unknown to what extent A. absinthium may be controlled in this manner. Bultsma (1982) suggested that mowing three times a season may be effective in preventing seed production, but pointed out that absinth sage is often difficult to mow due to its presence in fence rows or rocky areas.

Burning: Bultsma (1982) reported burning an area containing absinth sage with no apparent reduction effect. Studies on other sages indicated that, with few exceptions, fire resulted either in increases or no change in sage abundance (Anderson and Bailey 1980, Bragg 1978, Hadley 1970, Dix 1980). Laycock (1979) noted that some Artemisia, such as A. tripartita and A. cana, will often sprout after fire.

Plumb (1987) reported that heavily disturbed areas where absinth is a problem may have low fuel loads and be unable to support a hot enough fire to accomplish top-removal. A combination of spring burning followed by mowing once or twice in mid-to-late summer may be effective (but see "Research Needs"). Britton et al. (1981) outlined a technique for determining if a particular sagebrush area can be burned under prescribed conditions based on the relative amounts of herbaceous fuel and the canopy cover of sagebrush. This technique was intended for communities with abundant big sagebrush, A. tridentata, but may also prove useful as a guideline for areas infested with A. absinthium.

Chemical Control: A. absinthium can be effectively controlled with herbicides. Those most commonly used include dicamba, 2,4-D, picloram, and glyphosate. The degree of control achieved depends in large part on timing of application. Some researchers suggest early spring treatments (May-June), while others recommend spraying in summer or fall for improved residual effects. Although herbicide application rates are given in pounds per acre, it should be possible to treat individual plants since A. absinthium in natural areas usually occurs in small patches.

Mitich (1975) suggested using 2,4-D at 2 lb/A applied in late May in North Dakota or mid-May in South Dakota, and stated that applications made after mid-June would be less effective. Wrage and Kinch (1973) also recommended 2,4-D at two to four lb/A and reported that the best spray period is around mid-May in South Dakota, with increasingly less effective spraying after June 1. Molberg (1971b), however, conducted tests on absinth in Saskatchewan using 2,4-D ester and 2,4-D amine at 1-2 lb/A and stated that residual growth suppression was greatest from 2,4-D ester applied in July. In another study, Molberg (1971c) tested butyl esters of 2,4-D, 2,4-DB, and dicamba on absinth sage. The plots were mowed on June 1, and the herbicides applied at 2 lb/A on June 18. The results were evaluated later that summer and the following year. While 2,4-D provided good control the first year, it had little residual effect. Dicamba provided adequate control both years, and 2,4-DB was not adequate either year (Molberg 1971c).

Friesen (1962) also reported successful control of absinth in Manitoba using dicamba at 8 oz/A sprayed on July 3 when most absinth was two to three inches high.

Lym et al. (1984) stated that herbicides should be applied when the plants are at least 12 inches high, and applications from late June through mid-August would give better residual control the following season than either spring or fall treatments. If fall treatments are chosen, the plants should be mowed or cut in early to mid-summer to promote active regrowth prior to the fall herbicide application. Suggested rates of herbicide treatment included dicamba at .5-1 lb/A, 2,4-D at 1-2 lb/A, picloram liquid at .125-.25 lb/A, picloram at .5 lb/A, and glyphosate at .25-1 lb/A (Lym et al. 1984).

The Research Branch, Agriculture Canada, recommended using glyphosate at 4 lb/A to control absinth in pine nurseries. Glyphosate at 2 lb/A and glyphosate plus seimazine at 2 and 3 lb/A were less effective. None of the treatments were observed to adversely affect Picea pungens in the nursery (Agriculture Canada 1974).

Biological Control: Schroeder (1979) reported that the pyralid moth Euzophera cinerosella may be an effective control agent for absinth sage. The following life history information comes from Schroeder (1979). E. cinerosella is native to Europe and Asia throughout the range of Artemisia absinthium. The adults emerge from absinth from late May to the third week of July and live two to three weeks. The females deposit up to twelve eggs, mainly on stems and leaves on the lower parts of absinth. The larvae emerge in eight to ten days, and bore into the leaf bases, destroying axillary buds and mining deep into the vascular tissues of the shoots. The insect undergoes six instars, reaching the final larval stage in the roots. Shoots that suffer moderate to heavy attack produce no viable seeds. At rates of 10 to 20 larvae per plant, 20 to 15 shoots (30-100% of the plant) can be destroyed. Field studies in Europe showed that the abundance of larvae on absinth can be patchy within an area, and that certain individual plants are preferred. The criteria for this selection is not known.

Field tests in the Prairie Provinces of Canada were conducted to test the selectivity of E. cinerosella to native Artemisia spp. (Maw and Schroeder 1981). The larvae chose, fed, and developed best and most consistently on A. absinthium. However, adults were also recovered from native sages, including A. cana, A. longifolia, and A. dracunculus, but not from A. frigida and A. indoviciana. It was concluded that further research is necessary before releasing E. cinerosella because of the potential threat to native sages.

Management Programs: There are several areas in North Dakota where absinth sage has been reported as a problem in relatively small patches: two are in State Wildlife Management Areas in central North Dakota and one is located in the Sheyenne National Grassland. Absinth is also reported to be a minor problem at the Ordway Prairie in South Dakota. No active management control programs are being carried out in these areas, mostly because funding is not available for control of low priority species such as absinth.

Contact: Mike McNeil, Resource Assistant, Sheyenne National Grassland, Box 946, Lisbon, ND 58054. (701) 683-4342.

Glenn Plumb, Research and Management Associate, Ordway Prairie, Star Route 1, Box 16, Leola, SD 57456. (605) 439-3475.

Management Research Needs: More study is needed on the long-term effects of mowing. Wrage and Kinch (1973) and Mitich (1975) reported that seed production is not prevented by mowing, as seeds are then produced on low horizontal branches that grow from the base of the plant. However, Molberg (1976) stated that repeated mowing may weaken plants enough to prevent seed production.

Research may also be warranted on the effectiveness of the pyralid moth Euzophera cinerosella as a biological control agent for absinth sage. A. absinthium is the preferred host of E. cinerosella (Maw and Schroeder 1981), but the extent to which the moth is attracted to native sages is unknown and further research is necessary before it can be considered for use as a control for absinth.

Until A. absinthium is documented to be a severe problem on natural areas, research on control of this species is not considered to be a high priority.

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Management considerations

More info for the term: competition

Absinth wormwood is considered a weed in pastureland, cropland, and
rangeland in the northern Great Plains [14,15].  Although it spreads
rapidly on disturbed sites, it is easily controlled by herbicides and/or
vigorous competition from grasses [14].  Picloram provides the most
rapid and complete control of absinth wormwood, but dicamba, 2,4-D, and
glyphosate are also effective.  Application techniques are described
[14,15].

Absinth wormwood, which contains the sesquiterpene lactone absinthin,
can be toxic to other plants in its vicinity.  Studies of its effect on
the germination of other plants are inconclusive [15].  Although absinth
wormwood leaf extracts inhibited the germination of needle-and-thread
grass (Stipa comata), they stimulated the germination of green
needlegrass (S. viridula) [10].

Absinth wormwood taints milk when eaten by cows [14].
  • 10.  Hoffman, G. R.; Hazlett, D. L. 1977. Effects of aqueous Artemisia        extracts and volatile substances on germination of selected species.        Journal of Range Management. 30(2): 134-137.  [23850]
  • 14.  Lym, Rodney G.; Messersmith, Calvin G.; Dexter, Alan G. 1984. Absinth        wormwood control. W-838. Fargo, ND: North Dakota State University,        Cooperative Expernsion Service. 2 p. In cooperation with: U.S.        Department of Agriculture.  [23854]
  • 15.  Maw, M. G.; Thomas, A. G.; Stahevitch, A. 1985. The biology of Canadian        weeds. 66. Artemisia absinthium L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science.        65(2): 389-400.  [23853]

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Uses

Uses: MEDICINE/DRUG, Folk medicine

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the term: cover

Canada geese use absinth wormwood for nesting cover on Columbia River
islands but prefer lupine and willow (Salix spp.) [9].
  • 9.  Hanson, W. C.; Eberhardt, L. L. 1971. A Columbia River Canada goose        population, 1950-1970. Wildlife Monographs No. 28. Washington, DC: The        Wildlife Society. 61 p.  [18164]

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Other uses and values

Absinth wormwood is a medicinal herb often planted in gardens.
Absinthal, a volatile oil produced from absinth wormwood flowerheads,
was used in French liquors until prohibited in 1915 because of its toxic
and addictive effects [8].
  • 8.  Hammond, Catherine R. 1976. A gallery of herbs: A botanical guide to        some common and uncommon herbs. Horticulture. 54(3): 52-63.  [3025]

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Palatability

Absinth wormwood is unpalatable to fairly palatable to cattle [15,28].
Palatability is listed as poor for horses and good for sheep [28].
  • 15.  Maw, M. G.; Thomas, A. G.; Stahevitch, A. 1985. The biology of Canadian        weeds. 66. Artemisia absinthium L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science.        65(2): 389-400.  [23853]
  • 28.  Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information        network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and        Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior,        Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p.  [806]

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Nutritional Value

Absinth wormwood energy and protein values are listed as fair [28].
  • 28.  Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information        network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and        Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior,        Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p.  [806]

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Risks

Stewardship Overview: Artemisia absinthium is generally not considered a problem on well-established prairies and monitoring seems unnecessary. It does create a minor problem in relatively small patches on highly disturbed, usually previously grazed areas, and if necessary can best be controlled by cutting or mowing and/or application of the herbicides 2,4-D, dicamba, picloram, or glyphosate. For best residual (long-term) effects, herbicide application should be made when plants are at least 12 inches high, from late June to mid-August.

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Wikipedia

Artemisia absinthium

Artemisia absinthium (absinthium, absinthe wormwood, wormwood, common wormwood, green ginger or grand wormwood) is a species of Artemisia, native to temperate regions of Eurasia and Northern Africa. It is grown as an ornamental plant and is used as an ingredient in the spirit absinthe as well as some other alcoholic drinks.

Description[edit]

Artemisia absinthium is a herbaceous, perennial plant with fibrous roots. The stems are straight, growing to 0.8–1.2 metres (2 ft 7 in–3 ft 11 in) (rarely 1.5 m, but, sometimes even larger) tall, grooved, branched, and silvery-green. The leaves are spirally arranged, greenish-grey above and white below, covered with silky silvery-white trichomes, and bearing minute oil-producing glands; the basal leaves are up to 25 cm long, bipinnate to tripinnate with long petioles, with the cauline leaves (those on the stem) smaller, 5–10 cm long, less divided, and with short petioles; the uppermost leaves can be both simple and sessile (without a petiole). Its flowers are pale yellow, tubular, and clustered in spherical bent-down heads (capitula), which are in turn clustered in leafy and branched panicles. Flowering is from early summer to early autumn; pollination is anemophilous. The fruit is a small achene; seed dispersal is by gravity.

It grows naturally on uncultivated, arid ground, on rocky slopes, and at the edge of footpaths and fields.

Toxicity[edit]

Artemisia absinthium contains thujone, a psychoactive chemical that can cause epileptic-like convulsions and kidney failure when ingested in large amounts.[4]

Cultivation[edit]

Artemisia absinthium. Inflorescences

The plant can easily be cultivated in dry soil. It should be planted under bright exposure in fertile, mid-weight soil. It prefers soil rich in nitrogen. It can be propagated by ripened cuttings taken in Spring or Autumn in temperate climates, or by seeds in nursery beds. Artemisia absinthium also self-seeds generously. It is naturalised in some areas away from its native range, including much of North America and Kashmir Valley of India.[5]

This plant,[6] and its cultivars 'Lambrook Mist'[6] and 'Lambrook Silver'[7] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

Uses[edit]

It is an ingredient in the spirit absinthe, and is used for flavouring in some other spirits and wines, including bitters, vermouth and pelinkovac. In the Middle Ages, it was used to spice mead.[8] In 18th century England, wormwood was sometimes used instead of hops in beer.[9]

Etymology[edit]

Artemisia comes from Ancient Greek ἀρτεμισία, from Ἄρτεμις (Artemis).[10] In Hellenistic culture, Artemis was a goddess of the hunt, and protector of the forest and children. absinthum comes from the Ancient Greek ἀψίνθιον.

The word "wormwood" comes from Middle English wormwode or wermode. The form "wormwood" is attributable to its traditional use as a vermifuge.[11] Webster's Third New International Dictionary attributes the etymology to Old English wermōd (compare with German Wermut and the derived drink vermouth), which the OED (s.v.) marks as "of obscure origin".

Cultural history[edit]

Nicholas Culpeper insisted that wormwood was the key to understanding his 1651 book The English Physitian. Richard Mabey describes Culpeper's entry on this bitter-tasting plant as "stream-of-consciousness" and "unlike anything else in the herbal", reading "like the ramblings of a drunk", and Culpeper biographer Benjamin Woolley suggests the piece may be an allegory about bitterness, as Culpeper had spent his life fighting the Establishment, and had been imprisoned and seriously wounded in battle as a result.[12]

Artemisia absinthium is traditionally used medicinally in Europe, and is believed to stimulate the appetite and relieve indigestion.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Linnaeus, Carolus (1753). Species plantarum:exhibentes plantas rite cognitas, ad genera relatas, cum differentiis specificis, nominibus trivialibus, synonymis selectis, locis natalibus, secundum systema sexuale digestas... 2. Holmiae (Laurentii Salvii). p. 848. Archived from the original on 4 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  2. ^ a b c Christian Rätsch (25 April 2005). The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications. Inner Traditions/Bear. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-89281-978-2. Retrieved 27 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of all Plant Species". 
  4. ^ Absinthe Myths Finally Laid To Rest
  5. ^ Shafi et al., 2012
  6. ^ a b "Artemisia absinthium 'Lambrook Mist' AGM". APPS.RHS.org.uk. Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "Artemisia absinthium 'Lambrook Silver' AGM". APPS.RHS.org.uk. Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  8. ^ Grieves, M. (1931). "Wormwood, Common". Botanical.com – A Modern Herbal. Archived from the original on 28 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  9. ^ Hartley, Dorothy (1985) [1954]. Food in England. Futura Publications. p. 456. ISBN 0-7088-2696-2. 
  10. ^ "absinthium". Wiktionary. Wikimedia Foundation. 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  11. ^ "Wormwood". NYU Langone Medical Center. EBSCO Publishing. July 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  12. ^ Richard Mabey (2010). Weeds. The Story of Outlaw Plants. Profile Books Ltd. pp. 102–103. ISBN 978 1 84668 081 6. 
  13. ^ Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (2009). "Community Herbal Monograph on Artemisia absinthium L., Herba". European Medicines Agency. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
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Notes

Comments

Artemisia absinthium provides the flavoring as well as the psychoactive ingredient for absinthe liquor, a beverage that is illegal in some markets. Known as a powerful neurotoxin, absinthe in large quantities is addictive as well as deadly. The species is popular in the horticultural trade. Prized by gardeners for its gracefully scalloped leaves and gray-green foliage, it creates an attractive and winter-hardy flower border.
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Comments

The plant is used medicinally as a stimulant, vermifuge, insecticide and in brewing. It is grown in Europe and elsewhere for flavouring spirit known as “absinthe”. It is sold by local herbalists under the trade name afsanthin.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Kartesz (1999) no longer recognizes any North American varieties of Artemisia absinthium.

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Common Names

absinth wormwood
common wormwood
wormwood sage

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The currently accepted scientific name for absinth wormwood is Artemisia
absinthium L. (Asteraceae) [2,6,7,27]. Most North American authors do
not recognize varieties of absinth wormwood. However, Boivin [2] has
classified plants in Canada as insipid wormwood (A. a. var. insipida
Stechmann).
  • 6.  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]
  • 7.  Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains.        Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p.  [1603]
  • 27.  Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry        C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo,        UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p.  [2944]
  • 2.  Boivin, Bernard. 1972. The flora of the Prairie Provinces: Part III        (continued). Phytologia. 23(1): 1-140.  [23836]

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