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Artemisia ludoviciana facts for kids

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Artemisia ludoviciana 2731 rbgs11jan.jpg
Scientific classification
Artemisia ludoviciana ssp albula 7
Artemisia ludoviciana subsp. albula Spring Mountains, southern Nevada, elev. ca. 1,050 m

Artemisia ludoviciana is a North American species of flowering plant in the daisy family Asteraceae, known by several common names, including silver wormwood, western mugwort, Louisiana wormwood, white sagebrush, and gray sagewort.

Ludoviciana is the Latinized version of the word Louisiana.


Artemisia ludoviciana is a rhizomatous perennial growing to heights between 0.33–1 metre (1.1–3.3 ft). The stems bear linear leaves up to 11 centimeters long. The stems and foliage are covered in woolly gray or white hairs.

The top of the stem is occupied by a narrow inflorescence of many nodding (hanging) flower heads. Each small head is a cup of hairy phyllaries surrounding a center of yellowish disc florets and is about half a centimeter wide.

The fruit is a minute achene.


The plant is native to North America where it is widespread across most of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Some botanists suggest that eastern United States populations have been introduced from the western and central part of the continent.


Subspecies include:


Native Americans

Native Americans used the species as a medicinal plant, a source of fiber for crafting household items, and for ceremonial purposes. The Dakotas used this plant to protect against maleficent powers. The Apache, Chiricahua and Mescalero used this plant for spices while Blackfoot tribe used it as a drug for dermatological purposes. Gros Ventre also used it for skin curing as well as medicine against cold, because it also antipyretic.


Artemisia ludoviciana is cultivated as an ornamental plant. Being rhizomatous, it can spread aggressively in some climates and gardens.

Popular cultivars include 'Valerie Finnis' and 'Silver Queen.' Both are hardy to USDA zone 4. 'Valerie Finnis' has held the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit since 1993.

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