Artemisia vulgaris (Common Mugwort)

Plant Info
Also known as: Common Wormwood
Genus:Artemisia
Family:Asteraceae (Aster)
Life cycle:perennial
Origin:Europe, Asia
Status:
  • Weedy
Habitat:part shade, sun; disturbed soil; waste areas, roadsides, disturbed natural areas
Bloom season:July - October
Plant height:1.5 to 6.5 feet
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: UPL MW: UPL NCNE: UPL
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: indistinct Cluster type: panicle Cluster type: raceme

[photo of flowers] Flowers are numerous, arising in short, erect racemes or branching clusters (panicles) in the upper leaf axils. The flower heads are small and indistinct, 1/8 inch across, petal-less, short stalked or stalkless, egg shaped, erect to drooping. Flower parts are yellow to reddish brown, with 7 to 10 pale yellow, thread-like pistils extending out from the center. Bracts, stalks and stems are light green from frosty hairs.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: lobed Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are 1 to 4½ inches long, up to 3 inches wide, deeply divided into finger-like, wedge or spatula-shaped lobes along the central vein; the lobes may be coarsely toothed but are more often toothless. Lower leaves are stalked, often with 1 or 2 small lobes at base. Upper leaves are smaller, often undivided, and more linear in the flower clusters. Upper leaf surface dark green and smooth, lower surface white from short, dense matted hairs. The leaves give off a pungent aromatic odor when crushed. Stems are multiple from the ground, mostly smooth and unbranched in the lower plant, often reddish colored, becoming much branched with short, matted hairs in the flower cluster.

Notes:

Though likely under-reported in Minnesota, Common Mugwort is not yet widespread in the state, but it is considered invasive in other parts of North America. It is used as an herb in European cooking, such as the stuffing in the traditional German Christmas goose. The flowers look like those of other Artemisia species but the large, divided leaves make it easy to distinguish from the rest.

Please visit our sponsors

  • Wild Ones Twin Cities Chapter

Where to buy native seed and plants ↓

Map of native plant purveyors in the upper midwest

  • Itasca Ladyslipper Farm - Native orchids, container grown
  • Prairie Restorations - Bringing people together with the land
  • Landscape Alternatives - Distinctive Native Plants since 1986!
  • Shop for native seeds and plants at PrairieMoon.com!
  • Shooting Star Native Seeds - Native Prairie Grass and Wildflower Seeds

More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken at Battle Creek Regional Park, Ramsey County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Anoka and Ramsey counties.

Comments

Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Abbey - Northeast Minneapolis
on: 2014-06-14 09:06:46

I'm pretty sure this is the weed that pops up every year abundant in my northeast minneapolis yard, as well as that of my neighbor's yard.

Posted by: Gary - Cook County
on: 2018-10-19 19:29:55

I thought I saw a single plant of this species in a weedy lot in Moose Lake a while back. It was not aromatic so it may be a different Artemisia species. I have seen another mugwort species, Artemisia stelleriana I think, in Cook County along parts of HWY 61, in Grand Marais in a parking lot and on the Gunflint Trail. I also recently saw it in Duluth. The plants all appear to be naturalized not planted. As far as I have been able to find out this species is native to North America but only on the Aleutian Islands. The species is more widespread in China, Japan, Korea, and far eastern Russia.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2018-10-20 06:38:30

Gary, we've seen Artemisia stelleriana (dusty miller) around Duluth and along Hwy 61, too. This year we collected a specimen for the herbarium, near Grand Marais I think.

Posted by: Ian - City of Winona
on: 2020-05-05 19:42:44

This started coming up in my yard a few years ago

Post a comment

Note: All comments are moderated before posting to keep the riff-raff out. An email address is required, but will not be posted—it will only be used for information exchange between the 2 of us (if needed) and will never be given to a 3rd party without your express permission.

For info on subjects other than plant identification (gardening, invasive species control, edible plants, etc.), please check the links and invasive species pages for additional resources.



(required)




Note: Comments or information about plants outside of Minnesota and neighboring states may not be posted because Id like to keep the focus of this web site centered on Minnesota. Thanks for your understanding.