Artemisia–Wormwood

The wormwoods would not have any claims but for their foliage effect and the most brightly silvered, with the most finely cut leaves, are not very reliable in my experience, mostly because they dislike winter wet. Artemisia argentea, A. discolor and A. splendens run a little below ground and lose compactness after a year or two. They are best in a hot dry spot, and so is the semi-shrubby A. nutans. This is my preference amongst the silver-filigree species which have effective foliage up to about 12 in. and very ineffective dirty white flowers above that height.

Another section, less silvery and less delicate of leaf, are decidedly more vigorous, so much so that curbing is necessary.

Artemisia argentea

These include A. ludoviciana, A. palmeri, A. pontica, A. Silver Queen and A. villarsii — useful amongst shrubs or on a dry bank but of little charm in a mixed border of perennials.

The only species I know, that is worth growing as a border subject for its flowers is A. lactillora. This of course denotes milky white flowers, but the terminal heads of beady flowers are more of a creamy-ivory shade. These come on stiff-growing stems, reaching 4 ft. at least in the rich or dampish soil this splendid plant prefers and make a very effective, contrasting display in late summer and early autumn. It needs no staking.

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