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Products > Artemisia ludoviciana 'Valerie Finnis'
Artemisia ludoviciana 'Valerie Finnis' - Silver Wormwood

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  
Image of Artemisia ludoviciana 'Valerie Finnis'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Asteraceae (Sunflowers)
Origin: North America
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Summer
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: Spreading
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: < 0 F
Artemisia ludoviciana 'Valerie Finnis' (Valerie Finnis Silver Wormwood) - A low, spreading sub-shrub/perennial that grows to form mounds to 2 feet tall by 4 feet or more wide (spreads slowly in heavier clay soils but runs more freely in lighter sandy ones) with large white-gray felted aromatic lance-shaped leaves that are lobed near the tips and on stems of the same color. In mid-summer appear the clusters of small yellowish to cream-white flowers that rise just above the foliage - flowers while interesting, are not that attractive. Plant in full to part sun (plants get floppy with too much shade) with occasional to very little irrigation - drought tolerant, once established. Completely dormant in winter and hardy well below 0F and can reportedly be grown down to USDA Zone 4a (-30F) and some say even to USDA Zone 1 (-50F). Give a hard annual cutting back to the ground to keep tidy and prune off flowers to rejuvenate growth. This plant is not attractive to deer and tolerates poor or dry soils so long as they drain well. Artemisia ludoviciana is a widespread throughout the entire North American continent - in California it can be found in the Peninsular Ranges (mountains and hills south of San Gorgonio Pass) and in the deserts. It is also called White Sagebrush, Western Mugwort, Louisiana Wormwood and Gray Sagewort. There have been many selections made of the species and many feel that 'Valerie Finnis' is among the best. It is noted as holding up well to summer heat and humidity and is resistant to predation by deer and rabbits. It is an outstanding silver-leafed perennial for a sunny border or large container where its white leaves brighten up any space and are particularly dramatic in the moonlit garden. It is also useful in cut flower arrangements or in dried arrangements after stems have been dried by hanging upside-down in a darkened room but avoid using the flowers in this respect, as some allergies are reported to the pollen of this plant. This plant was brought to England by Valerie Finnis (19242006), British gardener and photographer, in 1950 from the Munich Botanic Garden, where it was being grown under the incorrect name of Artemisia borealis. She gave the plant to eminent plantswoman Beth Chatto, who named it in her honor and was awarded the Victoria Medal of Honour in 1975 by the Royal Horticultural Society. The Chicago Botanic Garden concluded a 4 year study of Artemisia cultivars in 1996 and in this study they concluded that Artemisia ludoviciana 'Valerie Finnis' was the best cultivar of the white sage group because its foliage was the most vibrant, had less floppy stems, and spread more slowly than the other cultivars.  Information displayed on this page about  Artemisia ludoviciana 'Valerie Finnis' is based on the research conducted about it in our library and from reliable online resources. We also note those observations we have made of this plant as it grows in the nursery's garden and in other gardens, as well how crops have performed in our nursery field. We will incorporate comments we receive from others, and welcome to hear from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if they share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.