PO Box 419

Hotchkiss, CO 81419



fax: 720-880-3051



Absinth Wormwood

Artemisia absinthium


Keys to Identification

Family: Sunflower family absintheabsinthe leaf


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




Legal Status: Colorado Noxious Weed List B









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



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




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


Dispersal: wind, animals, human




  • 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)