10. Artemisia absinthium Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 848. 1753; DC., Prodr. 6: 125. 1837; Boiss., Fl. Or. 3: 373. 1875; C.B.Clarke, Comp. Ind. 164. 1876; Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 3: 328. 1881; Pamp. in Nuov. Giorn. Ital. n. s. 46: 552. 1938; Pamp., Ibid, 34: 635. 1927; Poljakov in Schischk. & Bobrov, Fl. USSR 26:488. 2000; R. R. Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. & Kashm. 714. 1972; Tutin & Persson in Tutin et al., Fl. Europ. 4: 180. 1976; Podlech in Rech. f., Fl. Iran. Comp. IV. 158: 182. t. 167. 1986; B.D.Naithani in Hajra et al., Fl. Ind. 12:11. Fig. 3. 1995.
Perennial, aromatic, densely appressed silky-canescent, upright, up to 1.25 (-1.5) m tall herb with vertical rootstock. Stem terete, mildly striate, minutely punctate glandular, thinly cinereous or glabrate, ± densely foliated and profusely branched in upper part. Basal and lower stem leaves long petioled, petiole up to 10 cm long, lamina broadly ovate, 8-15 x 4-8 cm, 2-3-pinnatisect into linear-oblong to oblanceolate, 4-10 x 2-4 mm, obtuse lobes; upper and middle stem leaves short petioled or subsessile with fewer, mostly lanceolate, ± acute lobes; uppermost in floral region sessile, 3-fid or entire. Capitula heterogamous, short peduncled, depressed globose, 2.5-3.5 x 3-5 mm, nodding in narrow to broad pyramidate panicle with straight ascending or ± oblique spreading, up to 30 cm long primary and up to 12 cm long secondary branches. Involucre 3-4-seriate, outermost phyllaries linear, c. 3 mm long, green, appressed canescent; inner ovate to broadly ovate-orbicular, 1.5-2.5 x 1.25-2 mm, mostly scarious. Receptacle ± flat, densely white hairy. Florets numerous, yellow; marginal florets female, 20-25, fertile, with c. 1.25 mm long, obliquely 2-toothed corolla and flat exserted patent style branches; disc-florets many, bisexual, fertile, with campanulate, 1.5-2 mm long, 5-toothed, glabrous corolla. Cypselas ± oblong-cylindric, 0.8-1 mm long, narrowed to the base, smooth, with oblique corolla attachment.
Fl. Per.: June-September.
Lectotype: Herb. Clifford: 404, Artemisia No. 7 (BM).
The plant grows commonly on moist soils or near water in rocky terrain with sandy-clay soils in North Western mountains, Kashmir and Ladakh from 1000 to 3500 m; Distribution: Temperate Eurasia and N. Africa; introduced and naturalized in USA and Canada.
The plant is used medicinally as a stimulant, vermifuge, insecticide and in brewing. It is grown in Europe and elsewhere for flavouring spirit known as “absinthe”. It is sold by local herbalists under the trade name afsanthin.