Artemisia afra



 African Wormwood in the garden.

African Wormwood is a must have for any garden that has space and is in the right zone. It quickly grows to five feet and can spread up to eight feet in diameter.  Ours, in the picture above, is quite old and has naturalized itself into a twenty foot section of our garden. It loses all of its leaves in the winter and leafs out again in late March. There are several ways to trim it. If you do nothing, like in the picture above, you get a mix of new stems, old stems with new growth and dead stems. Or, and definitely the easiest, is to prune it back to about six inches in the late fall when it starts looking ratty. Of course there is always the option of pruning only the dead tips and branches once it has started to leaf out in the spring. This is more labor intensive but it does produce the largest shrub since the old branches are already tall.

African Wormwood, like all Artemisias, is a good choice for drier locations that might be at the edge of the garden. Plant in full sun so the aromatic oils develop fully. The long stems are nice filler for fresh cut bouquets. In mid to late summer, each stem will be covered about a foot or more from the tip with tiny yellow flowers. These do not really make much of a show in the garden and the tips can be cut back to promote fresh growth at anytime.


Cultural Information

Height: 4 Feet    

Hardiness: Perennial
in Zones 7-11

Flower Color: Yellow   

Characteristics: Full Sun,
Water Conserving 

Uses: Dried Flower,

This plant will not be offered this year. You might want to view our other Artemisias.  

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