Artemisia persica

Botanical Name : Artemisia persica
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily:Asteroideae
Tribe: Anthemideae
Genus: Artemisia
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asterales
Habitat :Artemisia persica is native to E. Asia – Himalayas from Afghanistan to northern India and western Tibet. It grows on rocky slopes and sandy beaches at an elevation of 2900 – 4000 metres.

Description:
Artemisia persica is a perennial plant. It is densely greyish tomentose, basally woody shrublet with several or occasionally solitary, 25-75 cm tall, ascending or upright, simple or branched, striate-costate, densely leaved, rarely glabrescent stems from a much branched, woody rootstock. Leaves 3-pinnatisect, primary and secondary rachis lobulate; basal and lower stem leaves with up to 1.5 cm long petiole, lamina oblong-obovate, 1.2-3.5 (-4.5) x 0.8-2 cm, primary segments ascending to patent, ultimate segments linear-oblong to lanceolate, 1.5-2.5 x 0.5-0.8 (-1) mm, obtuse; upper leaves sessile and gradually smaller; uppermost in floral region linear. Capitula heterogamous, on (1-) 2-4 mm long peduncles, remote, subglobose, c. 3-3.5 mm long and broad, secund nodding in narrow, ± oblong-pyramidate, up to 30 x 8-12 cm panicle with ascending to obliquely erect, 6-20 cm long branches. Involucre 3-4-seriate; phyllaries loosely imbricate, ± keeled; outermost linear-oblong, c. 2 mm long; inner elliptic, 2-2.5 x 0.75-1 mm, obtuse, hoary pubescent in the middle part, margins scarious. Receptacle convex, densely to laxly long hairy or almost glabrous. Florets all fertile, yellow, 40-50; marginal florets 8-12, with compressed, c. 0.8 mm long, punctate-glandulose corolla tube; disc-florets bisexual, 30-40, with 5-dentate, apically densely long hairy, 1-1.5 mm long corolla tube. Cypselas light brown, oblong, c. 1 mm long, smooth.

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It is in flower from Jul to October, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

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Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a warm sunny dry position. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

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Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse, making sure that the compost does not dry out. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring or autumn. Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the young shoots when about10 – 15cm long, pot up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse or cold frame and plant them out when well rooted. Very easy.

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is strongly scented and used as a tonic, febrifuge and vermifuge in Afghanistan and Chitral.

Known Hazards : Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

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Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_(genus)
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=5&taxon_id=200023300
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+persica

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