Artemisia - Wormwood

Few herbs have been so steeped in legend and liquid as Wormwood. The botanical name of the genus is Artemisia. There are over 200 species native to the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Most are found in dry climates. Many of the species are known for their volatile oils useful for medicine and flavoring.

As the name suggests, Artemisia might have been named for the Greek goddess Artemis, also known among Romans as Diana, goddess of the hunt. But there was another Artemis for whom the plant might have been named: Artemisia II of Carius. This stunning beauty was wife and sister of King Mausolus. She was an unusually able queen and admiral of her own fleet. Botany and plant collecting were among her interests.

Artemisia, the genus, is as legendary. Two common names, Wormwood and Mugwort, are shared among many of the species, indicating some uses. Wormwood is derived from Artemisia's use as a repellant of moths, fleas and worms. Mugwort is derived from its use as a flavoring in beverages, particularly beer and wine. It was originally an ingredient in vermouth.

To learn more, read our article Wormwood In Legend, Liquid And Garden.

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