CWMA

PO Box 419

Hotchkiss, CO 81419

 

970-361-8262

fax: 720-880-3051


Email:contact@cwma.org

 

 

Absinth Wormwood

Artemisia absinthium

 

Keys to Identification

Family: Sunflower family absintheabsinthe leaf

 

Other Names: American wormwood, common wormwood, mugwort, madderwort and wormwood sage

 

USDA Code: ARAB3

 

Legal Status: Colorado Noxious Weed List B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Identification

Lifecycle: Perennial forb or herb

 

Growth form: 3-5 ft tall. Woody at base; regrows from crown each spring

 

Flower: Small, yellow, inconspicuous, numerous 1/8 in wide. Late July - August

 

Seeds/Fruit: One seeded fruit, 1/16 in long, smooth, flattened and light gray-brown in color

 

Leaves: Divided into deeply lobed leaflets, light green to olive green color, 2-5 in long

 

Stems: 20 or more stems grow from woody crown. Covered with fine silky hairs

 

Roots: Taproot to 2 in diameter with shallow lateral branches up to 6 ft long

 

Impacts

Agricultural: Reduces available forage, taints milk. Strong medicinal odor.

 

Ecological: May release allelopathic substances (chemicals that prevent other plants from growing)

 

Human: Used to produce Absinth, a potent alcohol based drink

 

 

Habitat and Distribution

General requirements: Variable growing sites

 

Distribution: Found in north central Colorado. 5,000-7,000 ft elevation

 

Historical: Introduced from Europe in 1841

 

 

Biology/Ecology

Mode of reproduction: Seed, small root fragments Seed bank: 3-4 years

 

Dispersal: wind, animals, human

 

 

References

  • Lym, R. G., C. G. Messersmith, and A. G. Dexter. 1995. Absinth wormwood control. North Dakota State Univ. Ext. Ser. Circ. W-838. Fargo , ND .
  • Species account from USDA Forest Service Fire Effects Information System (FEIS)