Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
James H. Schutte
Common Wormwood, Mugwort
Put this weedy plant in the same classification as notorious weeds like Canadian thistle, star thistle, spotted knapweed and others. It is a bear of a plant that is next to impossible to get rid of once it takes hold. Plants aggressively spread via underground stems called rhizomes that form large matted colonies—even the smallest rhizome left in the ground will result in a new plant. The name “vulgaris” means common and this plant is common because it is a pest. Can you tell this is not one of our favorites?
Common Wormwood is an herbaceous perennial that originates from areas across Europe, Africa, Asia and arguably northwestern North America. It has naturalized as an invasive species across many parts of North America. Its green foliage is deeply dissected and fragrant, and plants produce many inconspicuous, tiny, wind-pollinated flowers in summer. There are some cultivated forms of common wormwood, such as the variegated Oriental Limelight, but all are almost as aggressive at wild plants and should only be grown in above-ground planters that will keep them contained.
Obnoxiously tough, common wormwood will tolerate the worst conditions and beatings imaginable—from repeated herbicide sprayings to yanking, pulling and stomping. The only way to get rid of it is to either manually dig it out—-making sure no roots remain—-or to smother it with hot, black, mulch cloth for a season.
8 - 1
3 - 8
A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade
2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m
5'-6' / 1.5m - 1.8m
Alaska, Europe, Africa, Asia
Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Clay, Loam, Sand
Pollution, Soil Compaction
Green, Dark Green
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