Artemisia vulgaris L.

common wormwood

New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

Where native and non-native distributions co-occur in a county, only the native distribution is shown.

North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Common wormwood, also sometimes called mugwort, is native to the beaches of northeastern Asia and now rapidly spreading throughout the northern hemisphere, including northeastern North America. Common wormwood was once used to impart a bitter flavor to beer before the advent of hops.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf type
leaves are simple (lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaf arrangement
alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
Flower type in flower heads
the flower head has disk flowers only, and lacks the strap-shaped flowers
Ray flower color
NA
Tuft or plume on fruit
there is no plume, or the plume is made up of scales, awns, a crown, or a rim
Spines on plant
the plant has no spines
Leaf blade length
20–120 mm
Disk flower number
  • 11-20
  • 6-10
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Bases of bract appendages
    NA
    Bract cycle number
    • there are three or more cycles of bracts
    • there are two main cycles of bracts
    Bract outer side hair type
    the bracts are hairy on their outer surfaces, with curled, tangled, matted, or woolly hairs
    Bract outer side hairs
    the bracts are hairy on their outer surfaces
    Bract separation
    the bracts appear completely unconnected to one another on all flower heads
    Bract shape
    the main bracts are lanceolate (widest above the base, then taper narrowly towards the tip)
    Disk flower color
    • green to brown
    • pink to red
    • yellow
    Disk flower lobe number
    5
    Disk flower number
    • 11-20
    • 6-10
    Disk flower reproductive parts
    • the disk flower has both pollen- and seed-producing parts
    • the disk flower has either only pollen- or only seed-producing parts
    Flower head platform
    the base has no bristles or papery scales
    Flower head platform surface
    NA
    Flower head shape
    the sides of the flower head are roughly parallel, like a cylinder
    Flower type in flower heads
    the flower head has disk flowers only, and lacks the strap-shaped flowers
    Height of flower head base
    2.5–4.5 mm
    Inflorescence branching (Solidago)
    NA
    Inflorescence shape
    the inflorescence is not flat-topped but appears rounded, with some flower heads distinctly higher than others
    Ovary cross-section
    the ovary has five or more corners in cross-section
    Ovary hair type
    the ovary has no hairs on it
    Ovary hairs
    the ovary has no hairs on it
    Ovary lines or ribs
    there are no lines or ribs visible on the ovary
    Ovary profile
    in profile, the ovary is roughly elliptical (widest in the middle, tapering to both ends)
    Ray flower color
    NA
    Ray flower reproductive parts
    NA
    Ray flowers
    0
    Ray length
    0 mm
    Reproductive system
    some of the flowers on the plant have only carpels or stamens, while others have both carpels and stamens
    Scale tip
    NA
    Style branches
    the style branch is wider at the tip and has a flattened end, or the style branches are wider at the tips and have flattened ends
  • Fruits or seeds
    Number of pappus parts
    0
    Ovary length in developed fruit
    0.5–1.2 mm
    Seed hair tuft bases
    NA
    Seed hair tuft color
    NA
    Seed hair tuft details
    NA
    Seed hair tuft length
    0 mm
    Seed hair tuft tips
    NA
    Seed hairs uniform
    NA
    Seed tuft scale number
    0
    Seed tuft type
    there is no pappus on the ovary
    Top of disk flower ovary
    NA
    Tuft or plume on fruit
    there is no plume, or the plume is made up of scales, awns, a crown, or a rim
  • Glands or sap
    Ovary glands
    • there are glands on the ovary surface
    • there are no visible glands on the ovary
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant has one or more free-standing stems
    Plant lifespan
    the plant is perennial, it shows evidence of previous year's leaves, stems or stem bases
    Spines on plant
    the plant has no spines
    Underground organs
    the plant has a rhizome (a horizontal underground stem with roots growing from it)
  • Leaves
    Final leaf segment width (compound lvs only)
    At least 2 mm
    Hairs on underside of leaf blade
    the underside of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    • the upper side of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    • the upper side of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Leaf arrangement
    alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Leaf blade base
    • the leaf has a distinct petiole
    • the leaf has no petiole
    Leaf blade base shape
    • the base of the leaf blade is cuneate (wedge-shaped, tapers to the base with relatively straight, converging edges), or narrow
    • the base of the leaf blade is truncate (ends abruptly in a more or less straight line as though cut off)
    Leaf blade bloom
    the underside of the leaf has no noticeable bloom
    Leaf blade edges
    the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
    Leaf blade hairs
    the leaf blade has tangled or woolly-looking hairs
    Leaf blade length
    20–120 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is linear (very narrow with more or less parallel sides)
    • the leaf blade is obovate (egg-shaped, but with the widest point above the middle of the leaf blade)
    • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    Leaf blade surface colors
    there is no noticeable color variation on the upper surface of the leaf
    Leaf blade tip
    the tip of the leaf blade is acute (sharply pointed)
    Leaf blade width
    18–80 mm
    Leaf disposition
    • the leaves are nearly similar in size, prominence of teeth, and length of stalks throughout the stem
    • the lower leaves are larger, toothier, and/or on longer stalks than the upper leaves
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf stalk
    • the leaves have leaf stalks
    • the leaves have no leaf stalks, but attach directly to the stem
    Leaf stalk length
    At least 0 mm
    Leaf tip extension
    NA
    Leaf type
    leaves are simple (lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Specific leaf type
    • the leaf has a row of two or more lobes on each side of the central axis
    • the leaf has a row of two or more lobes on each side of the central axis, and each lobe itself has rows of lobes on each side of the lobe's central axis
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    • the plant does not have much of an odor
    • the plant has a pleasant odor, such as licorice, fruit or resin
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Flowering stem cross-section
    the flowering stem is circular, or with lots of small angles
    Leaves on stem
    there is at least one full leaf above the base of the flowering stem
    Stem bloom
    there is no powdery or waxy film on the stem
    Stem internode hair type
    • the hairs on the stem are plain, without glands or branches, and not tangled
    • the stem has no hairs between the nodes
    Stem internode hairs
    • the stem has hairs between the nodes
    • the stem has no hairs between the nodes
    Stem wings
    the stem does not have wings on it

Wetland Status

Occurs only in non-wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: UPL)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

Yes

Synonyms

  • Artemisia vulgaris var. glabra Ledeb.
  • Artemisia vulgaris var. latiloba Ledeb.

Family

Asteraceae

Genus

Artemisia

Notes on Subspecies and Varieties in New England

Our variety is Artemisia vulgaris L. var. vulgaris.

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

13.  Artemisia vulgaris L. var. vulgaris E

common wormwood. Artemisia vulgaris L. var. glabra Ledeb.; A. vulgaris L. var. latiloba Ledeb. • CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Fields, roadsides, disturbed soil, vacant lots, railroads.