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Hoary Mugwort

Artemisia stelleriana

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 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 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, Treasureflower, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, White African Daisy, 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:
45 centimetres tall
Gardens, sand dunes, sea cliffs, wasteland.

Yellow, no petals
Tall, dense clusters of small yellow flowers. Pollinated by insects.
The fruit is a seed (achene). The seeds ripen from August to October.
An evergreen perennial with pale green to silvery-white, felty, pinnately lobed leaves.
The foliage is not aromatic, unlike the similar species Common Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium).
Other Names:
Beach Wormwood, Dusty Miller, Oldwoman.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Artemisia stelleriana, also known as beach wormwood or dusty miller, is a perennial herb that is native to Asia and North America. It is a member of the Asteraceae family and can grow up to 12-18 inches 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. The leaves of A. stelleriana are often used as an ornamental plant and is commonly used as a ground cover in gardens. It is also used as an herbal remedy to treat various ailments including digestive issues and fever. It's also used as a natural insect repellent and as an ingredient in some traditional cuisines.


Hoary mugwort (Artemisia stelleriana) is a beautiful and hardy perennial plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family. Also known as Dusty Miller, this herbaceous plant is native to Siberia, Mongolia, and China, and has become a popular ornamental plant in gardens around the world. It has silver-gray, woolly foliage that creates a soft, fuzzy texture in the landscape and adds a touch of elegance to any garden.

Hoary mugwort has a low, spreading growth habit and typically grows up to 12-18 inches tall and 24-36 inches wide. The leaves are deeply lobed and toothed, with a silvery-white color that makes them stand out in the garden. The plant blooms in mid-summer, producing tiny, inconspicuous yellow flowers that are borne in clusters at the tips of the stems.

One of the best things about hoary mugwort is its adaptability to a wide range of growing conditions. It is a tough and resilient plant that can tolerate heat, drought, and poor soil. It is also resistant to most pests and diseases, making it an ideal choice for low-maintenance gardens. However, it prefers well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade.

Hoary mugwort is a great plant for adding texture and contrast to mixed borders, rock gardens, and container plantings. Its silver-gray foliage makes a beautiful backdrop for other colorful perennials and annuals, and it can also be used as a groundcover to fill in bare spots in the garden.

This plant is also valued for its medicinal properties. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive disorders, menstrual cramps, and respiratory infections. The leaves and flowers are rich in essential oils, which have anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties.

Hoary mugwort is also known for its cultural and symbolic significance. In Japanese folklore, hoary mugwort is believed to have the power to ward off evil spirits and is often used in traditional ceremonies and rituals. In some cultures, it is also used as a natural insect repellent and is hung in doorways and windows to keep bugs away.

Hoary mugwort has also been used for centuries in traditional European herbal medicine. It was believed to have a variety of medicinal properties, including anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and anti-spasmodic effects. It was commonly used to treat digestive disorders, respiratory infections, and skin conditions.

In addition to its medicinal properties, hoary mugwort has been used in culinary applications. The leaves can be used to add a mild, slightly bitter flavor to dishes, and the dried leaves are sometimes used to flavor liqueurs such as absinthe.

Hoary mugwort is a great plant for attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies to the garden. Its tiny yellow flowers are a rich source of nectar and provide an important food source for these important insect species.

Hoary mugwort is also used in the field of aromatherapy. The essential oil extracted from the plant is known for its calming and relaxing properties, and is often used to relieve stress, anxiety, and insomnia. It is also believed to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, and is sometimes used to alleviate joint and muscle pain.

In some parts of the world, hoary mugwort is also used as a natural dye. The plant contains a yellow pigment that can be extracted and used to dye fabrics and textiles.

Hoary mugwort is a great plant for erosion control and soil stabilization. Its deep roots help to anchor soil and prevent erosion, making it a great choice for slopes and hillsides. It is also useful for planting in areas where other plants may struggle to grow, such as dry, rocky soils.

Hoary mugwort is a great plant for wildlife. Its foliage provides cover and shelter for small animals and insects, and its flowers provide an important food source for pollinators. If you are interested in creating a wildlife-friendly garden, hoary mugwort is a great plant to include.

Hoary mugwort is also known for its ability to repel pests and insects. The essential oil extracted from the plant is believed to have insecticidal properties, and can be used as a natural insect repellent. It is especially effective against moths, fleas, and mosquitoes, and can be used to protect clothing and bedding from these pests.

In addition to its insect-repelling properties, hoary mugwort is also used in the field of horticulture. The plant is a great natural weed suppressant, and can be used as a mulch or groundcover to prevent the growth of unwanted weeds. It is also useful for planting in areas where other plants may struggle to grow, such as hot, dry soils or areas with poor drainage.

Hoary mugwort is a popular plant for bonsai enthusiasts. Its small size and low, spreading growth habit make it a great choice for creating miniature landscapes in bonsai pots. The plant can also be trained into different shapes and forms, making it a versatile and creative choice for bonsai enthusiasts.

Finally, hoary mugwort is a great plant for companion planting. It is believed to have allelopathic effects, which means that it can release chemicals into the soil that inhibit the growth of nearby plants. This can be useful for planting alongside plants that are susceptible to disease or pests, as hoary mugwort can help to protect them.

Overall, hoary mugwort is a versatile and valuable plant that has many different benefits and uses. Whether you are interested in its insect-repelling properties, horticultural benefits, or cultural and symbolic significance, hoary mugwort is a great choice. With its beauty, resilience, and many uses, this plant is sure to be a welcome addition to any landscape.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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