Highly aromatic, vigorous clump-forming herbaceous perennial in the daisy family. Native to forest margins, shrublands, canyons, slopes, roadsides, river banks and thickets in western China and parts of East Asia.
Cultivated by gardeners as much for its flowers as for its foliage, and awarded Garden Merit (A.G.M.) from the Royal Horticultural Society, White Mugwort has plumes of airy creamy-white flower heads in summer and autumn, reminiscent of Astilbes. This is in contrast to the inconspicuous yellow flowers of most artemisias. The flowers form on arching stems which are mostly self-supporting but may need staking in rich or moister soils or on windy sites. Although wind pollinated, the flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies and are also suitable for cutting and for drying. Foliage is similar to common mugwort but leaves are broader and darker green, with silvery undersides.
The leaves of White Mugwort are extremely high in beta-carotene, and the plants are cultivated as a vegetable in Asia. The leaves and tender stems are eaten boiled or stir-fried, in soups, and in some fish dishes to mask the fishy odour.
Artemisia species are known for the powerful chemical constituents in their essential oils – substances such as terpenoids, flavonoids, coumarins, caffeoylquinic acids,and sterols which have been extracted for medicinal and other uses such as insecticides, antimalarials, cytotoxins, antihepatotoxic, fungicides, antibacterials, and allelochemicals. Like other artemisias, White Mugwort is a bitter aromatic tonic herb. The leaves and flowering stems are used internally in traditional Chinese medicine to treat menstrual and liver disorders.
Easy to grow and perfect for low maintenance and naturalistic gardens.
Full sun or partial shade. Suitable for dry sites but also tolerant of more moisture than some other artemisias as long as there is good drainage. The best choice of artemisias for sub-tropical areas, but also very frost hardy (and winter dormant in colder areas).
Height to 1.5m when in flower. Spread 60-90cm.
9cm pot. Certified organic plant.
Photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:190908_154_Chicago_Botanic_Garden_-_English_Walled_Garden,_Artemisia_lactiflora_White_Mugwort_%2848861026093%29.jpg, Kahikatea Farm