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African wormwood

Artemisia afra

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African wormwood is an easy to grow perennial plant with attractive silver-grey foliage. The plant is used extensively as a medicinal plant in Southern Africa. The plants release a strong, sticky sweet smell when touched or cut. It is popular as dewormer that leads to the common name and is widely used medicinal - even to cure Malaria.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer, Autumn

Harvesting

Leaves can be harvested twice in one season, in midsummer and late summer or early autumn or pick as needed. When harvesting for essential oil - cut off the upper green foliage or the flower tops which have a higher oil yield and superior quality. Harvest from beginning to mid-flowering time.

Propagation

Cuttings
Root or stem cuttings root easily in Spring and Summer. Take 10 cm cuttings, trim off excess leaves at the base and plant cuttings half of the length into a prepared tray or seedbed and keep moist.
Seed
Direct sow seeds 5 mm deep in spring or summer.

Special features

Repels harmful insects
Can be used in insect-repelling sprays and teas to repel fleas, moths and ants. Leaves placed near brassicas will deter caterpillars.
Drought resistant
African Wormwood is relatively drought tolerant.

Geography

Origin
South Africa
Natural climate
Warm to hot

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Uses

Personality

Family
Asteraceae
Flower colour
Creamy white
Scent
Mild - The scent is released as the leaves are crushed.

Problems

No serious pests or diseases have been recorded.

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