Sweden wildflowers: Common wormwood

Artemisia vulgaris, SE: Gråbo, DE: Beifuß, Gemeiner Beifuß,
NL: Bijvoet, UK: Mugwort, Common wormwood

Scientific name:  Artemisia vulgaris L.
Swedish name:  Gråbo
German name:  Beifuß, Gemeiner Beifuß, Gewöhnliche Beifuß, Gewürzbeifuß
Nederlandse naam:  Bijvoet
English name:  Mugwort, Common wormwood
Plant Family:  Asteraceae / Compositae, Sunflower family), Korgblommiga växter

Wildflowers, Sweden, Travel, Destination

Life form:  Herbaceous perennial
Stem:  Height 50–150 (–200) cm, erect, often vague purple to red
Leaves:  Feathery, deeply cut into; top dark green; underside with dense white tomentose hairs
Flowers:  Small (5mm) yellow or dark red petals in racemose panicles
Flowering Period:  July, August, September
Fruits:  Yellowish, oblong cypsela
Habitat:  dry cultivated land on farms and in ruderatmark and roadsides

Artemisia vulgaris, Gråbo, Beifuß, Gemeiner Beifuß, Gewöhnliche Beifuß, Bijvoet, Mugwort, Common wormwood


Derivation of the botanical name:
Artemisia, Ἀρτεμισία, referring to the Greek goddess Artemis who so benefited from a plant of this family that she gave it her own name. Plants described by Dioscorides & Pliny like wormword or mugwort from which the genus name Artemisia is taken. An alternative possibility for the derivation of this name is that it comes from Queen Artemisia II of Caria, sister and wife of King Mausolus, who ruled after his death from 352 to 350 BCE. and built during her short reign one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, which she unfortunately did not live to see the completion of.
vulgaris, "common".
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
Artemisia is used as food plant by the caterpillars of a number of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths).

Artemisia vulgaris is used from way back to let recover tired travellers and to protect them against evil spirits and wild animals.
Roman soldiers laid it in their sandals against painful feet, hence the name "bij-voet" in Dutch.
William Coles (1626 - 1662 CE), an herbalist, botanist, became entranced by the idea of plant signatures. In the Art of Simpling, 1656, he wrote: "And if a Footman take mugwort and put it into his shoes in the morning, he may go forty miles before noon and not be weary…"
Dr. Karl Wilhelm Burdach (1781 - 1842) of Triebel, discovered that the root of the Artemisia vulgaris is an excellent remedy in epilepsy.


Artemisia vulgaris, Gråbo, Beifuß, Gemeiner Beifuß, Gewöhnliche Beifuß, Bijvoet, Mugwort, Common wormwood


Flora of Sweden online, Native plants, Sverige