GARDENS OF THE GODS Artemisia (Wormwood)

GARDENS OF THE GODS

Artemisia(Wormwood)

Artemis, Greek goddess of the hunt, was the daughter of Zeus and the twin sister of Apollo. Often depicted with bow and arrow, she drove a chariot pulled by golden-horned stags.

None of which explains why a genus of soft, silvery perennials, medicinals and annuals is named for her. Or even if it is: Some say the name honors Artemisia II of Caria, a botanist, doctor and queen of Anatolia in the 4th century BC. Take your pick!

Artemisia encompasses tarragon (A. dracunculus), the annual cut-flower sweet Annie (A. annua), and A. absinthium, the bitter herb that flavors that infamous liqueur, absinthe. But here are the ones that belong in your perennial selection:

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’

Lacy, feathery foliage forms neat mounds 2 – 3’ tall. Named for a medieval mansion and fortress in Wales, it’s heat- and humidity-tolerant. Hardy in USDA Zones 5-9.

A. schmidtiana ‘Silver Mound’

The best-known variety, with irresistibly soft foliage (go ahead, touch it!). It’s the perfect neutral foil to blend colors that otherwise might not play well together in the border. Shear after flowering to restore its trademark tidy shape. Height: 10”. Hardy in USDA Zones 3-8.

A. stelleriana ‘Silver Brocade’

Like a hardy dusty miller, this nearly-white variety works in the border or frothing over the edges of large containers. Height: 6-12”. Hardy in USDA Zones 3-9.

The soft, silvery charms of Artemisia are legendary – but unlike their namesake, not mythical. Grow your own legend with the real thing: smooth-planting, fast-finishing 72-cell Artemisia liners from Emerald Coast Growers – the easy choice!