Plant World

Flowers and Unusual Plants

What is wormwood?

Artemisia absinthium known as wormwood, is a hardy, fragrant perennial that grows to heights of 2 to 4 feet (0.6 to 1.2 meters). Wormwood is native to Europe but has been widely naturalized in North America. Absinthe, a liquor, is distilled and flavored using this plant. Absinthe was banned in the United States in the early 1900s because it was considered habit forming and hazardous to one’s health. A revival of absinthe began in the 1990s, when countries in the European Union began to reauthorize its manufacture and sale. It was approved for sale in the United States in 2007, but only if classified as thujone-free. Thujone is a chemical found in wormwood that was reputed to cause hallucinations.


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