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Slender Mugwort

Artemisia biennis

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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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, Sea Wormwood, Seaside Daisy, Shaggy Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shaggy Soldier, Shasta Daisy, Shetland Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shrub Ragwort, Sicilian Chamomile, Silver Ragwort, 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:
Annual or Biennial
Maximum Size:
180 centimetres tall
Ditches, fields, roadsides, wasteland.

Yellow, no petals
Numerous yellowish-green, globular flowers, forming a tightly-packed cluster. Wind pollinated.
The fruit is a very tiny achene (seed). It measure less than 1mm across.
An annual or biennial species with alternate, deeply divided leaves. The lobes are coarsely toothed. Each leaf is up to 3 inches long.
The foliage is strongly aromatic.
Other Names:
Biennial Sagewort, Biennial Wormwood, False Tansy.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Artemisia biennis, also known as biennial wormwood, is a biennial herb that is native to North America. It is a member of the Asteraceae family and can grow up to 6 feet tall. It has small, yellow-green flowers that bloom in the late summer and fall. The leaves are green and feathery, and the plant has a woody stem. A. biennis is considered a weed and it can be found in waste ground, roadsides, and along paths. It is also used in traditional medicine and as a culinary herb. It's also a source of a yellow dye. It is not as commonly used as Artemisia vulgaris, which is considered a more potent medicinal herb.


Slender Mugwort, or Artemisia biennis, is a perennial herbaceous plant that is native to North America. It is a member of the Asteraceae family, which includes other plants such as sunflowers and daisies. Slender Mugwort is known for its medicinal properties and has been used for centuries by indigenous peoples to treat a variety of ailments.


Slender Mugwort typically grows to be about 3-6 feet tall and has a slender, erect stem. The leaves are alternate and deeply lobed, giving them a fern-like appearance. They are dark green and can be up to 6 inches long. The flowers are small and yellow-green in color, and are arranged in panicles at the top of the stem. Slender Mugwort blooms from July to October.


Slender Mugwort is found throughout much of North America, particularly in the eastern and central parts of the continent. It grows in a variety of habitats, including woodlands, meadows, and along streams and rivers. It prefers moist, well-drained soil and can tolerate some shade.

Medicinal Properties

Slender Mugwort has a long history of use in traditional medicine. Indigenous peoples used it to treat a variety of ailments, including fever, colds, coughs, and digestive issues. It was also used as a pain reliever and as a treatment for menstrual cramps.

More recent research has shown that Slender Mugwort contains a number of compounds that have potential therapeutic benefits. These include:

  1. Essential oils: Slender Mugwort contains essential oils that have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. These oils may help to reduce inflammation and fight off harmful bacteria and fungi.

  2. Flavonoids: Flavonoids are plant compounds that have antioxidant properties. Slender Mugwort contains several different flavonoids, including quercetin and kaempferol. These compounds may help to protect the body against oxidative stress and reduce inflammation.

  3. Sesquiterpene lactones: Sesquiterpene lactones are a group of compounds found in many different plants, including Slender Mugwort. These compounds have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating properties.


Slender Mugwort is primarily used in herbal medicine to treat a variety of ailments. Some of its common uses include:

  1. Digestive issues: Slender Mugwort is believed to have a soothing effect on the digestive system and may help to alleviate symptoms such as bloating, gas, and indigestion.

  2. Menstrual cramps: Slender Mugwort has traditionally been used to treat menstrual cramps. Its anti-inflammatory properties may help to reduce pain and discomfort during menstruation.

  3. Fever and colds: Slender Mugwort has been used as a natural remedy for fever and colds. Its antimicrobial properties may help to fight off viral and bacterial infections.

  4. Skin conditions: Slender Mugwort may be used topically to treat skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Its anti-inflammatory properties may help to reduce redness and inflammation.


Slender Mugwort is a versatile herb with a long history of use in traditional medicine. Its medicinal properties are supported by scientific research, and it may be a useful addition to a natural medicine cabinet. However, it is important to note that like all herbal remedies, Slender Mugwort should be used with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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