Levant Wormseed

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Levant Wormseed

 

(Artemisia cina), a perennial subshrub of the family Compositae. The numerous reddish and slender stems are 25–70 cm tall; they are lignified at the base and sparsely foliated. The leaves are bipinnatisect, with small narrowly linear terminal lobules. The young leaves are gossamer-pubescent and later naked. The basal leaves and lower stem leaves are 2.5–6 cm long, long-petioled, and early withering. The middle leaves are 1.5 cm long, almost sessile, and less dissected. The upper leaves are entire and linear. The ovate heads are in a narrow, pyramidal panicle, with three to six greenish yellow bisexual flowers measuring 2–3 mm long. The leaflets of the involucre and corolla have essential-oil glandules. Flowering occurs in late August and September; the seeds mature in October. The Levant wormseed grows in the deserts of Kazakhstan on somewhat solonetzic loess soils in river valleys and on terraces above floodplains in lowland and foothill regions. The plant is drought resistant. The leaves, the young stems (up to 5.4 percent) and, especially, the heads (up to 7 percent) contain the anthelmintic terpenoid santonin. The unopened heads are used as an anthelmintic. The heads and herbs can be stored. Santonin is also contained in other wormwood species (A. szovitziana, A. transiliensis, A. santonica).

REFERENCE

Atlas lekarstvennykh rastenii SSSR. Moscow, 1962.

T. G. LEONOVA

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