Tree Wormwood Artemisia arborescens

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
tree wormwood


Artemisia arborescens, commonly known as tree wormwood, is a perennial plant known for its distinctive silver-grey foliage and aromatic qualities. The leaves of tree wormwood are finely divided and silky to the touch, lending a delicate, feathery appearance. These leaves are typically endowed with a silvery sheen due to a dense covering of fine, hair-like structures. Aside from the leaves, tree wormwood produces small, yellowish or white flower heads that cluster into broad, somewhat flat-topped arrangements that could be described as panicles. These flowers are usually not very showy and might be considered rather inconspicuous compared to the bold statement made by the foliage. The overall impression of tree wormwood is one of a bushy, spreading plant with a soft, textured look, which can make it a striking addition to gardens and landscapes where it fits within the local climate and aesthetic. The plant exudes a strong, sometimes pungent scent that is characteristic of the wormwood family, which can be quite noticeable, especially when the leaves are disturbed.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Tree Wormwood, Large Wormwood, Giant Wormwood

    • Common names

      Artemisia arborescens.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Tree Wormwood (Artemisia arborescens) contains several chemical compounds that can be toxic if ingested in large quantities. Some species of Artemisia contain thujone, which is a neurotoxin and can cause symptoms such as muscle spasms, convulsions, and, in extreme cases, can lead to kidney or liver damage. While Tree Wormwood is not commonly known for severe toxicity to humans, ingestion of significant quantities should be avoided, and excessive use can lead to negative effects due to the presence of potentially toxic essential oils and other compounds typically found in plants of the Artemisia genus.

    • To pets

      Tree Wormwood (Artemisia arborescens) may be toxic to pets if ingested, particularly in large amounts. The essential oils and other compounds, such as thujone, found in this plant can lead to gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Moreover, neurotoxic effects such as lethargy, incoordination, and in severe cases, seizures may occur. It's important to keep this plant out of reach of pets to avoid ingestion and potential poisoning. If you suspect your pet has ingested Tree Wormwood, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian promptly.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2-4 feet (0.6-1.2 meters)

    • Spread

      2-4 feet (0.6-1.2 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aromatic Properties - Artemisia arborescens, commonly known as tree wormwood, emits a strong, pungent aroma that can be used in perfumery and as a fragrance in gardens and landscapes.
    • Culinary Uses - The leaves of tree wormwood may be used in small quantities to flavor certain spirits and dishes, particularly in Mediterranean cuisine.
    • Ornamental Value - With its silvery-grey foliage and woody growth, tree wormwood serves as an attractive ornamental plant in gardens, providing a striking contrast to green foliage plants.
    • Drought Resistance - Tree wormwood is well-suited for xeriscaping and arid climates due to its drought tolerance, making it a low-maintenance option for sustainable landscaping.
    • Insect Repellent - The plant has natural insect-repellent properties, helping to keep certain pests away from gardens and outdoor living spaces.
    • Soil Improvement - Tree wormwood can help improve poor soil quality as it is tolerant of low-nutrient soils and can establish itself in challenging conditions.
    • Erosion Control - Due to its robust root system, tree wormwood can help with erosion control on slopes and in areas susceptible to soil degradation.
    • Habitat Providing - The plant can provide shelter and food for various bird species, beneficial insects, and wildlife, enhancing biodiversity in a garden setting.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anti-inflammatory: Artemisia arborescens has been traditionally used to reduce inflammation.
    • Antimicrobial: The plant exhibits antimicrobial properties, effective against certain bacteria and fungi.
    • Antioxidant: It contains compounds with antioxidant activity, which can help protect the body's cells from damage.
    • Antispasmodic: May help relieve spasms of the muscles.
    • Anthelmintic: It has been used to expel parasitic worms from the body.
    • Cough relief: Historically used to treat coughs and other respiratory issues.
    • Diuretic: Has diuretic effects that can help increase the passing of urine.
    • Emmenagogue: Traditionally used to stimulate menstrual flow and ease menstrual cramps.
    • Gastroprotective: The plant may offer protective effects for the gastrointestinal system.
    • Hepatoprotective: May have properties that help protect the liver.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Artemisia arborescens, commonly known as Tree Wormwood, can be employed as a natural insect repellent, with its strong scent repelling various types of insects.
    • The leaves of Tree Wormwood may be used as a natural dye for textiles, providing a range of green hues when processed correctly.
    • Tree Wormwood can be included in potpourri mixes for its aromatic properties, adding a unique fragrance to the mixture.
    • In the culinary field, some cultures utilize small quantities of Tree Wormwood to flavor certain traditional alcoholic beverages, like absinthe, though care must be taken due to potential toxicity.
    • Gardeners may plant Tree Wormwood as a companion plant, taking advantage of its strong scent to deter pests from more susceptible crops.
    • As an ornamental plant, Tree Wormwood can be shaped and maintained as part of a aromatic hedge or garden border.
    • Dried branches of Tree Wormwood can be used in floral arrangements, adding texture and a soft, silvery-green color to the composition.
    • The plant can be included in a natural pest control spray, where its oils are extracted and diluted, to spray on infested plants in a garden.
    • Tree Wormwood is sometimes used in eco-printing, a natural dyeing technique where plants leave their shapes and colors on fabric or paper.
    • The woody stems of mature Tree Wormwood plants can be utilized in small-scale crafting, such as making natural wreaths or as stakes in gardening.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Tree Wormwood is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Tree Wormwood is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Protection: Artemisia arborescens, commonly known as the Tree Wormwood or Sheeba in Arabic, is often associated with protection. For centuries, it has been used in various cultures to ward off evil spirits and negative energies.
    • Healing: The plant has been used medicinally to symbolize healing. In traditional medicine, its extracts are applied for their anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
    • Purification: Tree Wormwood represents purification. It is burned as incense or used in smudging practices to cleanse spaces and objects.
    • Psychic Powers: In some belief systems, it is thought to enhance psychic abilities and is used to aid in visions and spiritual journeys.
    • Transition: The strong scent and bitter taste make it symbolic of life transitions and the bittersweet nature of change.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
As needed
  • water dropWater

    For Tree Wormwood, it is crucial to water moderately to establish a deep root system. Typically, watering once a week is sufficient, providing about 1-2 gallons per watering for mature plants. The soil should dry out somewhat between waterings; over-watering can lead to root rot. In very hot or dry weather, you may need to water twice a week, but always check the soil moisture first. During the winter, reduce watering frequency as the plant's water needs decrease.

  • sunLight

    Tree Wormwood thrives best in full sunlight. Ideally, place the plant in a spot where it receives at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. Partial shade is acceptable, especially in extremely hot climates, but the plant may not grow as vigorously or produce as many oils.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Tree Wormwood prefers temperate conditions and can generally tolerate temperatures between 30 degrees to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. It can survive brief periods of frost, but extended exposure to temperatures below 30 degrees may damage the plant. The ideal temperature range for Tree Wormwood is approximately 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Tree Wormwood promotes healthy growth and prevents the plant from becoming leggy. Trim the plant in early spring before new growth appears to shape it and again after flowering to encourage bushiness. Pruning can be done annually or biannually depending on the plant's growth rate. The best time for pruning is late winter to early spring.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    For Tree Wormwood, a well-draining soil mix with coarse sand or perlite is ideal; it prefers a pH range of 6.0-7.5.

  • plantRepotting

    Tree Wormwood should be repotted every two to three years to ensure healthy growth and root space.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Tree Wormwood tolerates a wide range of humidity levels but prefers dry to moderate conditions without excessive moisture.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure full sun, well-draining soil, and minimal water for indoor Tree Wormwood.

    • Outdoor

      Plant Tree Wormwood in full sun with dry, well-draining soil and space for air circulation.

    • Hardiness zone

      7-10 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of Artemisia arborescens, commonly known as tree wormwood, begins with seed germination, which is highly dependent on environmental conditions such as temperature and moisture. Upon germination, the seedling emerges and develops into a young plant with a growing root system and juvenile leaves. During the vegetative growth stage, tree wormwood will develop a woody base and silvery-green foliage as it matures, becoming a hardy shrub that can withstand drought and poor soil. Reproductive maturity is reached when the plant produces yellow or reddish-brown flower heads, typically in the summer months, which are capable of pollination by wind or insects. Following pollination, seeds develop and are dispersed by wind, allowing for the colonization of new areas. The plant may also propagate vegetatively through cuttings or root division, thereby completing its life cycle and beginning anew.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • The most popular method of propagation for Artemisia arborescens, commonly known as Tree Wormwood, is through semi-hardwood cuttings. This is typically done in late summer. To propagate, one should select a healthy, non-flowering stem and cut a 4 to 6-inch (10 to 15 cm) portion, making the cut just below a leaf node. The lower leaves of the cutting should be removed, and the cut end can be dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root development. The prepared cutting is then placed in a well-draining potting mix, ensuring that a few leaf nodes are buried where roots can form. The pot should be kept in a warm, bright location without direct sunlight, and the soil should be kept moist but not soggy. Roots often develop within a few weeks, after which the new Tree Wormwood plant can eventually be transplanted outdoors.