Mugwort 'Canescens' Artemisia alba 'Canescens'
A semi-evergreen sub-shrub of bushy habit to 50cm in height, with much-dissected silvery-grey leaves. Flower heads yellow, insignificant
About this plant
White Wormwood, Gray Mugwort, Hoary Mugwort
Artemisia alba, Artemisia canescens, Artemisia caerulescens subsp. canescens, Artemisia eriantha, Artemisia inculta, Artemisia lobelii, Artemisia nana, Artemisia pancicii, Artemisia petrosa, Artemisia rupestris, Artemisia serreana.
Color of leaves
2 feet [0.61 meters]
2 feet [0.61 meters]
- General Benefits
- Landscape beautification: Artemisia alba 'Canescens', commonly known as White Wormwood, adds texture and contrast to gardens with its silvery-grey foliage.
- Drought tolerance: It is highly adaptable to dry conditions, making it suitable for water-wise landscaping.
- Low maintenance: Once established, it requires minimal care, which can save time and expenses on maintenance.
- Pest resistance: The plant has natural resistance to many pests, reducing the need for chemical insecticides.
- Adaptability to soil types: It can thrive in a variety of soil conditions, from poor to moderately fertile soils.
- Culinary use: Though not focused on medical properties, the leaves of White Wormwood can be used as a bitter flavoring agent in culinary preparations.
- Wildlife habitat: The plant can provide cover and forage for wildlife, including beneficial insects.
- Erosion control: Its root system can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion on slopes or in areas with loose soil.
- Companion planting: White Wormwood can be beneficial when planted alongside other species as it may help repel certain pests naturally.
- Medical Properties
- Antimicrobial: Artemisia alba 'Canescens' has been studied for its potential to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and fungi.
- Anti-inflammatory: The plant may contain compounds that help reduce inflammation, which is implicated in various chronic diseases.
- Antispasmodic: It might be used to alleviate spasms in smooth muscles, such as those in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Antioxidant: Artemisia alba 'Canescens' could have antioxidant properties that help in neutralizing harmful free radicals in the body.
- Hepatoprotective: There may be hepatoprotective effects, suggesting it could protect the liver from damage by toxic substances.
- Antipyretic: The plant has been traditionally used to reduce fever, though clinical evidence may be limited.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- As a natural dye: Artemisia alba 'Canescens' can provide a source of natural dye for textiles, yielding various shades of green and yellow depending on the mordant used.
- Insect repellent: The strong scent of the leaves can be used to repel insects in wardrobes, pantries, or camping areas.
- Culinary flavoring: Small amounts of the leaves may be used to impart a bitter flavor in culinary dishes, particularly in traditional European cuisines.
- Crafts and decorations: Dried branches and flowers can be used in floral arrangements or wreaths for a rustic look and a pleasant aroma.
- Garden companion planting: The plant can be grown in the garden to deter pests from other crops due to its insecticidal properties.
- Soil improvement: Artemisia alba 'Canescens' can be used in permaculture settings to enhance soil nutrients and structure.
- Perfumery: Essential oils derived from the plant can be used in making natural perfumes or fragrances.
- Incense: Dried leaves and flowers can be burned to create a calming and cleansing smoke, often used in spiritual or religious ceremonies.
- Livestock forage: In some regions, it may be included as part of forage for certain livestock that can tolerate its bitter substances.
- Potpourri: The dried leaves and flowers can be included in potpourri mixes for their fragrance and insect repellent qualities.
- Feng Shui
The Artemisia is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Artemisia is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Cleansing: Artemisia alba 'Canescens', commonly known as White Mugwort, is often associated with purification and cleansing due to its aromatic leaves which have been used historically in rituals to clean the air and spirit.
- Protection: White Mugwort is frequently used in protective charms or sachets. It is believed to safeguard against negativity and evil spirits, embodying an aura of spiritual defense.
- Healing: The plant has medicinal properties and is a symbol of healing. It's believed to alleviate various ailments, adding to its symbolism as a source of health and recovery.
- Intuition: Often linked to the moon and femininity, White Mugwort is thought to enhance intuition and psychic abilities, representing a bridge to the subconscious mind.
- Transformation: With its capacity to change the atmosphere through purification, this plant also symbolizes personal growth and transformation, much like how it transforms the air when burned as incense.
- Dreams: It is believed to promote vivid and prophetic dreams, thus holding the symbolic meaning of prophecy and deep insight into one's unconscious.
White wormwood requires moderate watering, ensuring the soil is kept evenly moist but not waterlogged. During the growing season, water when the top inch of soil feels dry, which may be about once a week. It typically needs around 1 gallon of water per watering for a medium-sized plant, but adjust depending on weather conditions and the plant's environment. Cut back on watering in the winter when the plant is dormant, possibly to once every couple of weeks. Be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot in white wormwood.
White wormwood thrives in full sun but can tolerate some light shade. The best spot for this plant would be an area where it receives at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. If placed indoors, a south-facing window would be ideal to ensure it gets ample light.
White wormwood prefers temperate climates and can tolerate a temperature range from around 40 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature for this plant is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It may survive minor frosts, but prolonged exposure to temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit can damage the plant.
Pruning white wormwood is important for maintaining its shape and encouraging fuller growth. Prune in the early spring before new growth begins, cutting back to the ground if necessary. Throughout the growing season, you can prune lightly to shape the plant as desired. The best time to do heavy pruning is when the plant is dormant, typically in late fall or early winter.
White mugwort (Artemisia alba 'Canescens') thrives best in well-draining soil with a slightly alkaline to neutral pH, typically between 6.0 to 8.0. A mixture of sand, peat, and perlite in equal parts can provide a suitable growing medium for this plant. Ensuring adequate drainage is key to prevent root rot.
White mugwort should be repotted every two to three years to provide fresh soil and encourage growth. The best time to repot is during early spring, before new growth begins.
- Humidity & Misting
White mugwort prefers dry to average humidity conditions. It is well adapted to outdoor environments and does not require high humidity levels indoors, making it relatively easy to care for in terms of humidity requirements.
- Suitable locations
Grow white mugwort in a sunny spot with dry air.
Plant in well-draining soil; full sun.
- Life cycle
Artemisia alba 'Canescens', commonly known as White Mugwort, begins its life cycle as a seed, which upon germination in late winter to early spring, grows into a seedling developing a robust root system. As temperatures increase, the seedling transitions into the vegetative stage, producing silvery-grey foliage and a woody base, a hallmark of the subshrub form of this plant. In summer to early autumn, the plant reaches the flowering stage, where it produces small, inconspicuous yellowish or cream-colored flowers arranged in panicle-like clusters. Following the flowering period, pollination occurs; if successful, seeds are produced and dispersed by wind in late autumn. During winter, White Mugwort may die back, especially in colder climates, but because it is a perennial, the root system remains alive underground, ready to regenerate in the following spring. Over the years, this plant may also spread through rhizomes, enlarging its growth area.
Propogation: The most popular method of propagating Artemisia alba 'Canescens', commonly known as White Wormwood, is through cuttings. This is typically done in late spring or early summer when the plant's growth is most vigorous. To propagate White Wormwood by cuttings, a gardener should select healthy, non-flowering stems and cut them to lengths of about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters). These cuttings should have a few leaves removed from the bottom, exposing the nodes where new roots will form. The cut end can be dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root growth and then planted in a well-draining soil mixture. It's important to keep the cuttings moist but not waterlogged, and provide them with a warm environment and indirect light until they have rooted and are ready to be transplanted.