Artemisia absinthium, Wormwood
Tiny yellow flowers. Silver/green, divided, aromatic foliage. The leaves and flowers are very bitter. Culinary; very bitter flavoured leaves, good with cheese. Used in many drinks such as Absinthe and Vermouth.
• Hardiness: H5 (-10 to -15C)
• Type: Deciduous perennial
• Height: 1m
• Spread: 1m
• Soil type: Light Loam, Free Draining
• pH: Universal pH
• Habit: Bushy
• Flowering colour: Yellow
• Flowering time: Summer
• Uses: Culinary & Medicinal (Read Jekka's Guide To Culinary Herbs and Jekka's Guide to Medicinal Herbs for more information)
• Attracts pollinators: No
• Container suitability: No
• UK native: No
• Caution: Not for home medication. The pure oil is poisonous.
• Indoor Sowing: In early spring in prepared plug trays or pots, cover seeds with perlite. Bottom heat, 18°C, aids germination.
• Outdoor Sowing: In early summer when all threat of frost has passed, into a prepared, sunny site. Thin seedlings to 1m apart.
• Propagation: Cuttings
• Maintenance: (Read Jekka's Blogs on Early Spring, Late Spring and Autumn maintenance)
• Harvest: N/A
As the name might suggest, wormwood has historically been used by herbalists to assist in the expulsion of parasitic worms from the bowels.
Powerful aromatic and bitter qualities have also shaped wormwood’s traditional use as a widely-used digestive tonic to help stimulate the appetite and enhance production and release of bile and other digestive juices to ensure improved assimilation of food. This is reflected in its use as a key ingredient in many popular bitter aperitif drinks and cordials.
Herbalists often see it as being of value for those with nervous exhaustion, joint pain and in regulating the menstrual cycle.
Caution: Avoid in pregnancy and breastfeeding. Small doses are usually preferable.
Please note: The information provided here is for educational interest only and is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat significant health problems. Any serious or long-term health concerns should always be discussed with a healthcare professional.
See our blog for more information about the National Institute of Medical Herbalists
Jekka's "How to Grow Herbs" videos, includes Jekka's video on how to sow seeds for an informative step-by-step guide to seed sowing.
Growing indoors? Check out Jekka's blog on indoor herb gardening for some advice.
At Jekka’s we sell herbs in 1 Ltr and 2 Ltr pots. These are established and hardy herb plants that are grown following organic principals and to survive the UK climate. Please read Jekka's blog that contains her top steps to growing on your herbs.
Our herbs are designed to be grown in containers or planted in the garden. Although some herbs will be quite happy indoors, most prefer being outside. Please see our indoor growing blog for more information.
If you think your herbs need a little more attention we always recommend an environmentally friendly solution, and these are Jekka's top three:
- Maxicrop liquid seaweed: 'Feed on Fridays' as Jekka always says for all round good plant health.
- SB Invigorator: a safe and effective insecticide and fungicide to help control a wide range of pest species
- Epsom salts: the horticultural equivalent of what you put in your bath to top up magnesium and stop orange leaves.
One of our three core roots is that we are Environmentally Conscious and for the past 30 years all the herbs grown at Jekka’s have been raised following sustainable, environmentally friendly and organic approaches resulting in a remarkable biodiversity at the herb farm.
Our herb seeds are also untreated and can be used to grow organic herb plants.