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Sea Wormwood

Artemisia maritima

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Also in this family:
Alpine Blue Sow-thistle, Alpine Cotula, Alpine Fleabane, Alpine Saw-wort, Annual Ragweed, Annual Sunflower, Argentine Fleabane, Autumn Hawkbit, Autumn Oxeye, Beaked Hawksbeard, Beggarticks, Bilbao Fleabane, Black Knapweed, Black-eyed Susan, Blanketflower, Blue Fleabane, Blue Globe-thistle, Bristly Oxtongue, Broad-leaved Cudweed, Broad-leaved Ragwort, Brown Knapweed, Butterbur, Buttonweed, Cabbage Thistle, Canadian Fleabane, Canadian Goldenrod, Carline Thistle, Chalk Knapweed, Chamois Ragwort, Changing Michaelmas Daisy, Chicory, Chinese Mugwort, Chinese Ragwort, Coltsfoot, Common Blue Sow-thistle, Common Cat's-ear, Common Cudweed, Common Daisy, Common Dandelion, Common Fleabane, Common Goldenrod, Common Groundsel, Common Michaelmas Daisy, Common Mugwort, Common Ragwort, Common Wormwood, Coneflower, Confused Michaelmas Daisy, Corn Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Cotton Thistle, Cottonweed, Creeping Thistle, Daisy Bush, Dwarf Cudweed, Dwarf Thistle, Early Goldenrod, Eastern Groundsel, Eastern Leopardsbane, Elecampane, English Hawkweed, Fen Ragwort, Feverfew, Field Fleawort, Field Wormwood, Fox and Cubs, French Tarragon, Gallant Soldier, Garden Lettuce, Giant Butterbur, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed, Glandular Globe-thistle, Glaucous Michaelmas Daisy, Globe Artichoke, Globe-thistle, Goat's Beard, Golden Ragwort, Golden Samphire, Goldilocks Aster, Grass-leaved Goldenrod, Great Lettuce, Greater Burdock, Greater Knapweed, Grey-headed Hawkweed, Guernsey Fleabane, Hairless Blue Sow-thistle, Hairless Leptinella, Hairy Michaelmas Daisy, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Heath Cudweed, Heath Groundsel, Hemp Agrimony, Highland Cudweed, Hoary Mugwort, Hoary Ragwort, Hybrid Knapweed, Intermediate Burdock, Irish Fleabane, Jersey Cudweed, Jerusalem Artichoke, Lance-leaved Hawkweed, Lavender-cotton, Leafless Hawksbeard, Least Lettuce, Leopardplant, Leopardsbane, Leptinella, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Hawkbit, Lesser Sunflower, London Bur-marigold, Magellan Ragwort, Marsh Cudweed, Marsh Hawksbeard, Marsh Ragwort, Marsh Sow-thistle, Marsh Thistle, Meadow Thistle, Melancholy Thistle, Mexican Fleabane, Milk Thistle, Mountain Everlasting, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Musk Thistle, Narrow-leaved Cudweed, Narrow-leaved Hawkweed, Narrow-leaved Michaelmas Daisy, Narrow-leaved Ragwort, New England Hawkweed, New Zealand Holly, Nipplewort, Nodding Bur-marigold, Northern Hawksbeard, Norwegian Mugwort, Oxeye Daisy, Oxford Ragwort, Pearly Everlasting, Perennial Cornflower, Perennial Ragweed, Perennial Sow-thistle, Perennial Sunflower, Pineapple Mayweed, Plantain-leaved Leopardsbane, Ploughman's Spikenard, Plymouth Thistle, Pontic Blue Sow-thistle, Pot Marigold, Prickly Lettuce, Prickly Sow-thistle, Purple Coltsfoot, Rayed Tansy, Red Star Thistle, Red-seeded Dandelion, Red-tipped Cudweed, Robin's Plantain, Roman Chamomile, Rough Cocklebur, Rough Hawkbit, Rough Hawksbeard, Russian Lettuce, Safflower, Salsify, Saw-wort, Scented Mayweed, Scentless Mayweed, Sea Aster, Sea Mayweed, Seaside Daisy, Shaggy Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shaggy Soldier, Shasta Daisy, Shetland Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shrub Ragwort, Sicilian Chamomile, Silver Ragwort, Slender Mugwort, Slender Thistle, Small Cudweed, Small Fleabane, Smooth Cat's-ear, Smooth Hawksbeard, Smooth Sow-thistle, Sneezeweed, Sneezewort, Spear Thistle, Spotted Cat's-ear, Spotted Hawkweed, Sticky Groundsel, Stinking Chamomile, Stinking Hawksbeard, Tall Fleabane, Tall Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Tansy, Thin-leaved Sunflower, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, White Butterbur, White Buttons, Willdenow's Leopardsbane, Winter Heliotrope, Wood Burdock, Wood Ragwort, Woody Fleabane, Woolly Thistle, Yarrow, Yellow Chamomile, Yellow Fox and Cubs, Yellow Oxeye, Yellow Star Thistle, Yellow Thistle, York Groundsel
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
50 centimetres tall
Beaches, saltmarshes, sand dunes, sea cliffs, seaside, walls, wasteland.

Yellow, no petals
Small yellowish-brown tubular florets in clusters of 3 to 6. Wind pollinated.
The fruit is an achene (a type of one-seeded, dry fruit).
1 to 2-pinnate, silvery-green, downy leaves with narrow, linear segments. Perennial.
Strongly fragrant.
Other Names:
Garden Cypress, Old Woman, Sea Artemisia, Wormseed.
Frequency (UK):

Other Information


Artemisia maritima, commonly known as sea wormwood, is a species of perennial herb in the Asteraceae family. It is native to Europe, Asia and North Africa, typically found in salt marshes and coastal dunes. It has small, yellow or green flowers that bloom in the summer and leaves that are grayish-green, fleshy and fragrant. The plant is also used as an ornamental plant in gardens, it is known for its ability to tolerate salt-rich soils and it's tolerant to drought. It has been traditionally used in medicine and it has been used as a stimulant, tonic, diaphoretic, and diuretic. The plant has also been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments such as respiratory problems, digestive issues and menstrual cramps, but there is not enough scientific evidence to support its medicinal properties.


Sea Wormwood (Artemisia maritima) is a species of perennial herb that belongs to the Asteraceae family. It is also known by several other common names, including seaside wormwood, shore wormwood, and old man.

This plant is found along coastal areas and salt marshes, especially in Europe and Asia. Sea Wormwood is well adapted to living in harsh environments and can tolerate high levels of salt and sand. It can grow up to a height of 1 meter and has grayish-green leaves that are highly fragrant. The leaves of the Sea Wormwood are used in various traditional remedies and to add flavor to dishes.

One of the most interesting aspects of Sea Wormwood is its medicinal properties. This plant has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments. It is believed to have antiseptic, antispasmodic, diuretic, and anti-inflammatory properties, and is commonly used to treat digestive problems, colds, and flu. Sea Wormwood has also been used to alleviate menstrual pain, promote digestion, and reduce inflammation in the joints.

In addition to its medicinal properties, Sea Wormwood is also an important ingredient in the production of absinthe, a popular spirit known for its distinctive green color and strong flavor. The plant contains thujone, a compound that is thought to be responsible for the hallucinogenic effects of absinthe.

Sea Wormwood is a fascinating and versatile plant that has a long history of use in traditional medicine. Its ability to thrive in harsh environments and its potent medicinal properties make it an important species to consider in the field of herbal medicine.

Apart from its traditional medicinal uses, Sea Wormwood has also been used in modern herbal medicine and aromatherapy. The essential oil derived from the plant is used for various purposes, including as a natural insect repellent, as a soothing massage oil, and as an ingredient in perfumes and soaps.

In recent years, there has been growing interest in the use of Sea Wormwood as a natural remedy for various health conditions. Research has shown that the plant has potential as an effective treatment for various conditions, including digestive problems, joint pain, and menstrual cramps. However, it is important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the effects of Sea Wormwood on human health and to determine the safe and effective dosages of the plant.

While Sea Wormwood is generally considered safe when used in moderation, it is important to exercise caution when using the plant as a natural remedy. The essential oil derived from the plant can be toxic if consumed in large quantities, and it is not recommended for use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. People who are taking medication or who have a medical condition should consult with their healthcare provider before using Sea Wormwood.

Sea Wormwood is a fascinating plant with a rich history of use in traditional medicine. Its potential health benefits and versatility make it an important species to consider in the field of natural remedies. However, it is important to use caution when using the plant and to consult with a healthcare provider before using Sea Wormwood as a natural remedy.

In addition to its traditional and modern medicinal uses, Sea Wormwood is also a popular ornamental plant due to its attractive appearance and fragrant leaves. The plant is often used in landscaping and gardening, especially in coastal areas, and can provide a striking visual contrast to other plants. The plant also attracts a variety of beneficial insects, including bees and butterflies, making it an important species for pollinator conservation.

Sea Wormwood is a hardy plant that is easy to grow and care for. It prefers well-drained soils and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, making it a great choice for coastal areas. The plant can be propagated by seed or cuttings, and can be pruned back after flowering to encourage new growth.

Despite its many uses and benefits, Sea Wormwood is listed as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This is due to the loss of its natural habitats, including salt marshes and coastal areas, as well as the overexploitation of the plant for its medicinal properties.


Sea Wormwood videos filmed in Orford, Suffolk on the 30th June 2022.


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Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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