wormwood(redirected from Absinthium)
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wormwood,Mediterranean perennial herb or shrubby plant (Artemisia absinthium) of the family Asteraceae (asteraster
[Gr.,=star], common name for the Asteraceae (Compositae), the aster family, in North America, name for plants of the genus Aster, sometimes called wild asters, and for a related plant more correctly called China aster (Callistephus chinensis
..... Click the link for more information. 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. Wormwood oil has been utilized since ancient times as an insect repellent, particularly for moths; until recently it was used for intestinal worms and for other medicinal purposes. It was also employed in brewing but is best known for its bitter principle, which is an important ingredient of absintheabsinthe
, an emerald-green liqueur distilled from wormwood and other aromatics, including angelica root, sweet-flag root, star anise, and dittany, which have been macerated and steeped in alcohol. It was invented in the 1790s by a Dr.
..... Click the link for more information. ; the compound alpha-thujone, found in wormwood, formerly gave that liqueur its toxicity. Because of its bitter taste the common wormwood has long symbolized human rancor and is often so represented in the Bible.
Other artemisias, some American, are also called wormwood; still others include southernwood (A. abrotanum), tarragontarragon
, perennial aromatic Old World herb (Artemisia dracunculus) of the family Asteraceae (aster family), of the same genus as wormwood and sagebrush. It has long been cultivated in Europe and W Asia for its leaves, used for flavoring vinegar, salads, sauces, soups,
..... Click the link for more information. , silver king artemisia (A. albula), old woman, or dusty miller (A. stelleriana), Roman wormwood (A. pontica), sagebrushsagebrush,
name for several species of Artemisia, deciduous shrubs of the family Asteraceae (aster family), particularly abundant in arid regions of W North America. The common sagebrush (A.
..... Click the link for more information. , sweet, or Chinese, wormwood (A. annua), from which the antimalarial artemisinin is extracted, and Levant wormseed (A. cina), which yields santonin. Artemisias are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
..... Click the link for more information. , class Magnoliopsida, order Asterales, family Asteraceae.