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Products > Artemisia ludoviciana ssp. albula
Artemisia ludoviciana ssp. albula - Silver Wormwood
Image of Artemisia ludoviciana ssp. albula
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Asteraceae (Sunflowers)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Summer
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Synonyms: [A. ludoviciana var. albula]
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 3-5 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): No Irrigation required
Winter Hardiness: < 0 F
Artemisia ludoviciana ssp. albula (Silver Wormwood) - A low, spreading fine textured sub-shrub or perennial that grows to 2 feet tall by 3 to 5 feet wide, spreading slowly by rhizomes. It has white-gray tomentose stems and aromatic narrow 1-to-2-inch long pinnatifid (pinnately divided, but not all the way down to the central axis) leaves that are grey-green on the upper surface and nearly white below with revolute margins. At the tips of the stems in midsummer are produced narrow flower clusters with many small (about 1/4 inch wide) yellowish nodding flower heads - while interesting, the flowers are not showy.

Plant in full to bright part sun in a well-drained soil and irrigate very little - this is a very drought tolerant plant. It is dormant in winter and extremely hardy, withstanding temperatures well below 0F and useful in gardens in USDA Zone 4a and above. It is also resistant to predation by deer and other herbivores. Trim back to the ground in winter to keep planting neat and to stimulate new growth in spring. This is a good ground cover on slopes where it helps reduce erosion and planted in the native garden its gray foliage contrasts nicely with dark foliage plants like Ceanothus.

Artemisia ludoviciana ssp. albula can be found growing naturally in in dry sandy and rocky locations in the high desert and Peninsular Ranges up to 4,600 feet of southern and central California. It also grows east to Colorado and western Texas and south into northwestern Mexico. The name for the genus likely honors Artemisia II of Caria, a botanist and medical researcher who died in 350 BC but whose name came from the Greek goddess Artemis, whom the Romans called Diana. The specific epithet is a Latinized version of the word Louisiana and is a reference to the area of the Louisiana purchase where the British born American botanist Thomas Nuttall first described this species from along the banks of the Mississippi near St. Louis and included it in his The Genera of North American Plants in 1818. The subspecific epithet means "whiteish" from the Latin 'albus' meaning "white". Our plants are from cuttings taken from private property at 4,200 feet in the Lost Horse Valley of Joshua Tree National Park. 

This information about Artemisia ludoviciana ssp. albula displayed on this web page is based on research we have conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations we have made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens visited, as well how our crops have performed in containers in the nursery field. Where appropriate, we will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share cultural information that would aid others in growing this plant.