Artemisia absinthium L.
Source: Martin_092306
Family: Asteraceae
[Artemisia absinthium var. absinthium L.,  more]
Artemisia absinthium image
Perennials, 40-60(-100) cm (mat-forming), aromatic. Stems gray-green (sometimes woody proximally), densely canescent to glabrescent (hairs appressed). Leaves deciduous, gray-green; blades broadly ovate, 3-8 × 1-4 cm, mostly pinnately lobed (basal 2-3-pinnatifid, lobes obovate), faces densely canescent. Heads (nodding) in open (diffusely branched), paniculiform arrays 10-20(-35) × (2-)10-13(-15) cm. Involucres broadly ovoid, 2-3 × 3-5 mm. Phyllaries gray-green, densely sericeous. Florets: pistillate 9-20; bisexual 30-50; corollas 1-2 mm, glandular. Cypselae (± cylindric, slightly curved, obscurely nerved), ± 0.5 mm, glabrous (shiny). 2n = 18. Flowering mid summer-fall. Widely cultivated, persisting from plantings, disturbed areas; 0-1000 m; introduced; Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask.; Calif., Colo., Conn., Idaho, Ill., Ind ., Iowa, Kans., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mo., Mont., Nebr., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., N.Dak., Ohio, Oreg., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.Dak., Tenn., Utah, Vt., Wash., Wis., Wyo.; Europe. Artemisia absinthium provides the flavoring as well as the psychoactive ingredient for absinthe liquor, a beverage that is illegal in some markets. Known as a powerful neurotoxin, absinthe in large quantities is addictive as well as deadly. The species is popular in the horticultural trade. Prized by gardeners for its gracefully scalloped leaves and gray-green foliage, it creates an attractive and winter-hardy flower border.

Perennial herb or near-shrub 4-10 dm, the stem finely sericeous or eventually glabrate; lvs silvery-sericeous, sometimes eventually subglabrate above, the lower long-petiolate and 2-3 times pinnatifid, with mostly oblong obtuse segments 1.5-4 mm wide, the blade rounded-ovate in outline; upper lvs progressively less divided and shorter-petiolate, the segments often more acute; infl ample, leafy; involucre 2-3 mm; receptacle beset with numerous long white hairs between the fls; achenes nearly cylindric, but narrowed to the base and rounded at the top; 2n=18. Fields and waste places; native of Europe, now established across n. U.S. and adj. Can., throughout our range. July-Sept.

Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.

©The New York Botanical Garden. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
There are five reports of this species having escaped to roadsides, and I have seen it a few times and collected it once. I believe it may be considered established, especially in the sandy areas of northern Indiana.