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artemisia, in botany


see wormwoodwormwood,
Mediterranean perennial herb or shrubby plant (Artemisia absinthium) of the family Asteraceae (aster family), often cultivated in gardens and found as an escape in North America. It has silvery gray, deeply incised leaves and tiny yellow flower heads.
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Artemisia, ruler of Caria


(är'təmĭ`shēə), fl. 4th cent. B.C., ruler of the ancient region of Caria. She was the sister, wife, and successor of MausolusMausolus
, d. 353 B.C., Persian satrap, ruler over Caria (c.376–353 B.C.). He was always more or less independent. One of the satraps who revolted against Artaxerxes II, he later allied himself with the Persian kings.
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 and erected the mausoleummausoleum
, a sepulchral structure or tomb, especially one of some size and architectural pretension, so called from the sepulcher of that name at Halicarnassus, Asia Minor, erected (c.352 B.C.) in memory of Mausolus of Caria.
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 at Halicarnassus in his memory. A strong ruler, she conquered Rhodes. She also patronized the arts. An earlier Artemisia ruled part of Caria under Xerxes I of Persia.



(wormwood), a genus of plants of the family Compositae. The plants are biennial, perennial, and occasionally annual herbs and subshrubs. They are 3-150 cm in height and have a thick woody root. The plants have a whitish or grayish tomentum. There usually are numerous stems of two types: perennial and annual. The perennial stems are short, prostrate or ascending, and fruitless; the annual stalks are erect and fruit-bearing and end in a panicle, raceme, or almost capitate common inflorescence. The alternate leaves are dissected or, less commonly, entire. The lower leaves are the largest and are commonly borne on long peduncles; the middle and upper leaves are smaller, more dissected, and usually sessile. The small flowers are yellow or reddish. They are gathered in groups of two to 15 or 30 to 85 into ovate, cuplike, or almost spherical anthodia. Each anthodium is 1–10 mm in diameter and has tegular leaflets making up the involucre. In some species, the anthodia have one row of tubular pistillate marginal flowers and a greater number of bisexual flowers in the disk (subgenus Artemisia). In other species, either the disk flowers staminate (subgenus Dracunculus) or all the flowers in the anthodium are bisexual and tubular (subgenus Seriphidium). The conical or hemispherical receptacle is glabrous or pubescent, and the achenes are small and have no pappus.

There are approximately 400 species of Artemisia (according to other sources, 250), distributed in Eurasia, northern and southern Africa, and North America. Approximately 180 species are encountered throughout the USSR. They are most common in Transcaucasia and in the steppes and deserts of North Kazakhstan and Middle Asia.

Several species, including A. terraealbae, A. lerchiana, A. pauciflora, and A. diffusa, are important forage plants for sheep, goats, horses, and camels, especially in the early spring, autumn, and winter. Artemisia contain essential oils, acids, and other substances. A number of species are used medicinally, especially A. cina, the absinthe (A. absinthium), and the mugwort (A. vulgaris). Tinctures, infusions, and extracts prepared from the leaves and the leafy flowering upper portions of absinthe shoots are used as appetite stimulants. The absinthe is used in “appetite tea.” Tarragon (A. dracunculus) is cultivated as a spice. A number of species are sand stabilizers, for example, A. songarica and A. arenaria. The sweet wormwood (A. annua), A. taurica, and A. austriaca are weeds. Some wormwoods are ornamentals.


Poliakov, P. P. “Polyn’—Artemisia.” In Flora SSSR, vol. 26. Moscow-Leningrad, 1961.
Atlas lekarstvennykh rastenii SSSR. Moscow, 1962.



(fl. 4th century B.C.) built Mausoleum to commemorate husband. [Gk. Hist.: Walsh Classical, 32]
See: Grief