Artemisia vulgaris - L.
Common Name Mugwort, Common wormwood, Felon Herb, Chrysanthemum Weed, Wild Wormwood
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
USDA hardiness 3-9
Known Hazards The plant might be poisonous in large doses[21]. Skin contact can cause dermatitis in some people[222]. Probably unsafe for pregnant women as it may stimulate the uterus to contract and induce abortion [301].
Habitats Common on hedgebanks and waysides, uncultivated and waste land[4, 7, 17].
Range Throughout most temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, including Britain.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Translate this page:

You can translate the content of this page by selecting a language in the select box.

Also known as Mugwort, Common wormwood, Felon Herb, Chrysanthemum Weed, Wild Wormwood, wild wormwood, old Uncle Henry, sailor's tobacco, naughty man, old man or St. John's plant (not to be confused with St John's wort). Bloom Color: Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early fall, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Upright or erect.

Artemisia vulgaris Mugwort, Common wormwood, Felon Herb, Chrysanthemum Weed, Wild Wormwood
Artemisia vulgaris Mugwort, Common wormwood, Felon Herb, Chrysanthemum Weed, Wild Wormwood
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Artemisia vulgaris is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 0.7 m (2ft 4in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Absinthium spicatum. Artemisia affinis. Artemisia coarctata. Artemisia officinalis

 Meadow; Hedgerow;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Colouring;  Condiment.

Leaves - raw or cooked[2, 9, 12, 27, 177]. Aromatic and somewhat bitter[244]. Their addition to the diet aids the digestion and so they are often used in small quantities as a flavouring, especially with fatty foods[183, 244]. They are also used to give colour and flavour to glutinous-rice dumplings (Mochi)[183, 244]. The young shoots are used in spring[46]. In Japan the young leaves are used as a potherb[183]. The dried leaves and flowering tops are steeped into tea[183]. They have also been used as a flavouring in beer, though fell into virtual disuse once hops came into favour[4].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anticonvulsant;  Antidepressant;  Antiemetic;  Antiseptic;  Antispasmodic;  Appetizer;  Carminative;  Cholagogue;  
Diaphoretic;  Digestive;  Diuretic;  Emmenagogue;  Expectorant;  Foot care;  Haemostatic;  
Nervine;  Purgative;  Stimulant;  Tonic;  Women's complaints.

Mugwort has a long history of use in herbal medicine especially in matters connected to the digestive system, menstrual complaints and the treatment of worms[238]. It is slightly toxic, however, and should never be used by pregnant women, especially in their first trimester, since it can cause a miscarriage[7, 238]. Large, prolonged dosage can damage the nervous system[268]. All parts of the plant are anthelmintic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, digestive, emmenagogue, expectorant, nervine, purgative, stimulant, slightly tonic and used in the treatment of women's complaints[4, 7, 13, 21, 147, 165, 178, 201]. The leaves are also said to be appetizer, diuretic, haemostatic and stomachic[176, 218, 222]. They can be used internally or externally[218]. An infusion of the leaves and flowering tops is used in the treatment of nervous and spasmodic affections, sterility, functional bleeding of the uterus, dysmenorrhoea, asthma and diseases of the brain[176, 243]. The leaves have an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus typhi, B. dysenteriae, streptococci, E. coli, B. subtilis, Pseudomonas etc[176]. The leaves are harvested in August and can be dried for later use[4]. The stem is also said to be antirheumatic, antispasmodic, and stomachic[218]. The roots are tonic and antispasmodic[243]. They are said to be one of the best stomachics[4]. They are harvested in the autumn and dried for later use[4]. The leaves, placed inside the shoes, are said to be soothing for sore feet[238]. The compressed dried leaves and stems are used in moxibustion[176, 178, 218, 222, 238]. Another report says that the down from the leaves is used[4].


Other Uses
Insecticide;  Repellent;  Tinder.

The fresh or the dried plant repels insects, it can be used as a spray but caution is advised since it can also inhibit plant growth[20]. A weak tea made from the infused plant is a good all-purpose insecticide[201]. An essential oil from the plant kills insect larvae[218]. The down on the leaves makes a good tinder for starting fires[115]. A number of species of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) feed on the leaves and flowers.
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Border. Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a sunny position and a moist soil[1, 14, 200]. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil[245]. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.8 to 8.2. Established plants are drought tolerant[200]. Mugwort is an aggressive and invasive plant[14], it inhibits the growth of nearby plants by means of root secretions[20, 201]. The sub-species A. vulgaris parviflora. Maxim. is the form that is eaten in China[179]. There are some named varieties[200]. 'White' is a taller plant than the type species, growing to 1.5 metres. It has a strong, rather resinous or "floral" taste similar to chrysanthemum leaves and is used in soups or fried as a side dish[183]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233]. Special Features:Edible, Not North American native, Invasive, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for dried flowers, Fragrant flowers, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.
Seed - surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. When large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots. If growth is sufficient, they can be planted out into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter and then plant them out in the spring. Division in spring or autumn. Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the young shoots when about 10 - 15cm long, pot up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse or cold frame and plant them out when well rooted. Very easy.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

This plant can be weedy or invasive in Northeast and Tennessee, USA.
Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Artemisia abrotanumSouthernwood13
Artemisia absinthiumWormwood, Absinthium.13
Artemisia annuaQing Hao, Sweet sagewort14
Artemisia anomala 02
Artemisia argyi 02
Artemisia biennisBiennial Wormwood11
Artemisia campestrisField Southernwood02
Artemisia campestris glutinosa 00
Artemisia capillarisYin Chen Hao13
Artemisia caruifolia 13
Artemisia cinaCina, Santonica03
Artemisia dracunculoidesRussian Tarragon, Tarragon, French Tarragon21
Artemisia dracunculusTarragon, French Tarragon42
Artemisia filifoliaSand Sage, Sand sagebrush02
Artemisia frigidaFringed Wormwood, Prairie sagewort12
Artemisia glacialisGlacier Wormwood12
Artemisia gmeliniiRussian Wormwood, Gmelin's wormwood11
Artemisia indica 13
Artemisia japonica 12
Artemisia keiskeana 21
Artemisia laciniataSiberian wormwood10
Artemisia lactifloraWhite Mugwort02
Artemisia lancea 11
Artemisia ludovicianaWhite Sage, Louisiana Sage, Prairie Sage, Western Mugwort22
Artemisia ludoviciana gnaphalodesWhite Sage02
Artemisia maritimaSea Wormwood12
Artemisia mexicanaMexican White Sagebrush01
Artemisia michauxianaMountain Sagewort, Michaux's wormwood11
Artemisia monophylla 10
Artemisia montana 10


Print Friendly and PDF
Expert comment
Botanical References
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
Xequina Ma. Berber   Fri May 27 16:07:06 2005
I've used mugwort under my pillow to induce dreaming. It's oils have entered my bed, and whenever visitors sleep in the bed, they have a lot of dreams.
wench   Tue Jul 3 2007
Help! I have searched everywhere. need information on Mugwort seeds Where located on plant? How and when to harvest, and dry?
Kristian   Sat Jul 21 2007
Thanks for the information about Artemisia vulgaris because i need some basic information about it to work my thesis soon. I need some review or information about flavonoid, phytochemical, steroid and alkaloid content from Artemisia vulgaris. If you have those information, please e-mail me. I need it as references for my thesis. Thank you very much...
manjil   Fri Mar 7 2008
Thank you very much and I need some basic information about it to work my research. Please help me by giving information about antimicrobial secondary metabolites like flavonoid, phytochemical, steroid, alkaloid etc. content from Artemisia vulgaris.I found its inhibitory effect against MDR Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhi ( but here written as Bacillus typhi that is not true so for B dysenteriae instead of Shigella dysenteriae) If you have those information, please e-mail me. I need it as references.
   Tue Mar 11 2008
Excellent. I am interested in herbal medicine.
Miranda Sohkhlet   Fri Oct 31 2008
Thank you for htese valuable information. I would really like to get more ideas on the action of the extract of Artemisia vulgaris on insects. I would be so gratefull so that I can include the information as references in my thesis. c
Dr. Biswajit Ghosh   Sun Nov 29 2009
I am Dr. Biswajit Ghosh, Readerin Botany, RKMVC College, Rahara, Kolkata- 700118, India, need few amounts of seeds of Artemisia vulgaris and Artemisia anuua for tissue culture research work.
david   Sun Nov 29 2009
Dr Ghosh, B and T world stock these.
   Feb 10 2016 12:00AM
Mugwort is awesome, the Romans used to pack there "shoes" with the stuff. I prefer to make an incense and I've tried putting the dried herb under my pillow... hahaa felt a little goofy but I did have interesting dreams.
QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.
2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.
3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the website on their phone.
Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Artemisia vulgaris  

Plant Uses

Edible Uses
Medicinal Uses
Other Plant uses
Woodland Gardening
Why Perennial Plants?
Top Edible Plants
Top Medicinal Plants
Garden Design

Twiter      Facebook


Content Help
Support Us
Old Database Search
About Us

Stay informed about PFAFs progress,
challenges and hopes by signing up for
our free email ePost. You will receive
a range of benefits including:
* Important announcements and news
* Exclusive content not on the website
* Updates on new information &
functionality of the website & database

We will not sell or share your email address.
You can unsubscribe at anytime.