Wormwood, Absinthe

Artemisia absinthium Wormwood

Wormwood, Absinthe, Absinthium

Wormwood flowers

What makes Wormwood a plant as striking as it is attractive is not its inflorescences, but its leaves, some of which have a silvery sheen.

Artemisia absinthium grows perennially and can reach a height of 1.5 meters. The shoots can become woody in the lower part. In mild winters, wormwood retains some of its leaves.

Here in Central Europe, the flowering period lasts from midsummer to early fall, from July to September.

Wormwood leaves

Distribution area & biotopes

The original distribution area includes Euopa, North Africa (Morocco, Tunisia) and extends in Asia to India (source). Wormwood got to other regions as a cultivated herb.

It grows on roadsides, along traffic routes, in meadows, on dams and embankments.

Wormwood by the wayside

Wormwood and insects

Flies on Wormwood

On the wormwood flowers I could observe flies. They do not seem to be particularly attractive to bees.

Aphids on Wormwood

It is clearly more popular with sucking insects and their predators. Large colonies of aphids can live on its shoots. On them, in turn, feed ladybugs and their larvae.

Ladybug on Wormwood

Spittlebugs use Artemisia absinthium as a nesting site and feed on the plant sap.

Spittlebug foam nest on Absinth
A foam nest of an unknown spittlebug.