When the council next comes to strim weeds in my street, these lovely Wormwood babies would be lost, so this afternoon I whipped lots of them out of the ground, to save them in plant pots.
I grow a vigorous and useful Wormwood plant in our super-dry geveltuin. I wrote about it recently, when I had to harvest lots of its growth to prevent damage by builders.
Since then I’ve been noticing its seedlings all down the street! The recent weather seems to have helped them to thrive in the road gutter, treepits and pavement cracks.
Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) is a herb which gives Absinthe its flavour, works internally and externally as a natural pesticide (think intestinal parasites, plant pests, malaria etc) and can help with several digestive disorders including indigestion, gut spasms and lost appetite. Wormwood contains a mind altering, dangerous chemical which shouldn’t be consumed in quantity. It increases the likelyhood of a person having brain seizures, gives Absinthe it’s flavour, increases creativity and is the reason for Absinthe’s prohibition in some non-European countries. Wormwood is a rare plant in The Netherlands. It can be eaten very sparingly, in salads or cooked food. It is easily vinegared, tinctured, dried, infused in oil and more. Wormwood is the most potent member of the Artemisia family and needs to be treated with great respect. If you’d rather not consume the herb, be aware that it is associated with magical properties related to love and protection and I think it smells very pleasant when dried or fresh. I also find it very beautiful and love seeing it’s shimmering silver-grey foliage outside of my home.
If you would like one of these easy to grow Wormwood babies, please contact me. Bring me a clean small plant container with a little soil and you are welcome to have one or, for a Euro, you can buy one from me that is already potted-up.
I find that the plant grows best in well drained, sandy soil and a good sunny location. I grew it on a north facing balcony for a few years and it did fine but it revealed itself as a real goddess, when I planted it in the south facing pavement garden. I have uprooted only the seedlings that would have been strimmed, about ten more continue to grace the plant pots and tree pits of my neighbours.