Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Artemisia abrotanum L.

Fully hardy, erect, deciduous to semi-evergreen shrub with aromatic pinnatisect leaves and yellowish-grey flower heads, in dense panicles, to 30cm long, in summer.  To 1m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

At one time a popular cottage garden plant, grown in Britain since 1548.  [JD].  ‘Mugwort.  Artemisia.  The stalks grow about three foot high; the leaves are a deep green above and hoary underneath, and the flowers a purplish yellow.  It grows in hedges and waste places, flowering in June.  The leaves are chiefly used, especially against distempers incident to the female sex, being of great service in promoting the menstrual evacuations, either taken inwardly, or used outwardly in baths & semicupia.  Some recommend this plant as good to strengthen the head and nerves, & help hysteric fits or vapours.’  [Blackwell pl.431/1839].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.69/1843].


Published Feb 26, 2009 - 01:44 PM | Last updated Jul 14, 2010 - 04:08 PM

Shown are pinnatisect leaves and flower heads that are reddish in this lithograph.  Blackwell pl.431, 1839.

Artemisia abrotanum L. | Blackwell pl.431/1839 | BHL

Family Asteraceae
Region of origin


Common Name

Lad?s love, Old man, Southernwood

Name in the Camden Park Record

Artemisia abrotanum – Southernwood 

Confidence level high