Artemisia ludoviciana

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Artemisia ludoviciana 2731 rbgs11jan.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
A. ludoviciana
Binomial name
Artemisia ludoviciana
Artemisia ludoviciana subsp. albula Spring Mountains, southern Nevada, elev. ca. 1,050 m

Artemisia ludoviciana is a North American species in the daisy family, known by several common names, including silver wormwood, western mugwort, Louisiana wormwood, white sagebrush, and gray sagewort.[2][3]

Ludoviciana is the Latinized version of the word Louisiana.


The plant is native to North America where it is widespread across most of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.[2][3][4][5] Some botanists suggest that eastern United States populations have been introduced from the western and central part of the continent.[6]


Artemisia ludoviciana is a rhizomatous perennial plant 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. This plant is used by many Native American groups for a variety of medicinal, veterinary, and ceremonial purposes.[7]


Subspecies include:[1][3][8]


Native Americans[edit]

Native Americans use the species as a medicinal plant, a source of fiber for crafting household items, and for ceremonial purposes.[9] The Dakotas used this plant to protect against maleficent powers. The Apache, Chiricahua and Mescalero used this plant for spices[10] while Blackfoot tribe used it as a drug for dermatological purposes.[11] Gros Ventre also used it for skin curing as well as medicine against cold, because it also antipyretic.[12]


Artemisia ludoviciana is cultivated as an ornamental plant.[13] Being rhizomatous, it can spread aggressively in some climates and gardens.

The most commonly grown cultivars are 'Valerie Finnis' and 'Silver Queen.' Both are hardy to USDA zone 4. 'Valerie Finnis' gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit in 1993.[14]


  1. ^ a b The Plant List Artemisia ludoviciana Nutt.
  2. ^ a b National Plant Germplasm System− Artemisia ludoviciana Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Flora of North America Vol. 19, 20 and 21 Page 527 Silver wormwood, white or silver sage Artemisia ludoviciana Nuttall, Gen. N. Amer. Pl. 2: 143. 1818.
  4. ^ Berendsohn, W.G. & A.E. Araniva de González. 1989. Listado básico de la Flora Salvadorensis: Dicotyledonae, Sympetalae (pro parte): Labiatae, Bignoniaceae, Acanthaceae, Pedaliaceae, Martyniaceae, Gesneriaceae, Compositae. Cuscatlania 1(3): 290–1–290–13
  5. ^ Turner, B. L. 1996. The Comps of Mexico: A systematic account of the family Asteraceae, vol. 6. Tageteae and Athemideae. Phytologia Memoirs 10: i–ii, 1–22, 43–93
  6. ^ Biota of North America Program: county distribution map Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  7. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.
  8. ^ Keck, David Daniels 1946. A revision of the Artemisia vulgaris complex in North America. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, Series 4, 25(17): 421-468 descriptions, line drawings, range maps of several species
  9. ^ University of Michigan @ Dearborn, Native American Ethnobotany of Artemisia ludoviciana Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  10. ^ Castetter, Edward F. and M. E. Opler (1936). Ethnobiological Studies in the American Southwest III. The Ethnobiology of the Chiricahua and Mescalero Apache. 4. University of New Mexico Bulletin. p. 47.
  11. ^ Hellson, John C. (1974). Ethnobotany of the Blackfoot Indians, Ottawa. Mercury Series. National Museums of Canada. pp. 17–124.
  12. ^ Hart, Jeff (1992). Montana Native Plants and Early Peoples, Helena. Montana Historical Society Press. p. 44.
  13. ^ Las Pilitas Horticulture Database: Artemisia ludoviciana (White Sagebrush) Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  14. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Artemisia ludoviciana 'Valerie Finnis'". Retrieved 26 November 2017.

External links[edit]