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Artemisia L.


LING, Yeou-Ruenn and PENG, Ching-I

Artemisia oligocarpa

Credit: HAST

Herbs, subshrubs or shrubs, usually strongly aromatic, densely tomentose, pubescent, glandular, viscid or glabrescent. Leaves pinnately (rarely palmately) sectioned or undivided. Heads disciform, semiglobose, globose, ovoid or ellipsoid, in panicles, spikes, racemes or corymbs; involucral bracts in 3 or 4 series, subcoriaceous, membranaceous or herbaceous with scarious margins or scarious throughout; receptacle convex or flat, glabrous or hairy. Outer florets pistillate, 3-10 or more, in 1 (or 2) series; corolla tubular, rarely urceolate, cup-shaped or conical, 2(-4)-toothed; style exserted, acute. Central florets bisexual, several to numerous, in 2 or more series; corolla tubular, 5-toothed; apical anther appendages acute, triangular, basal anther appendages 2, obtuse; style as long as or longer than corolla,divergent, truncate or folded and penicillate at apex, or sometimes shorter than corolla and apex clavate or funnelform. Achenes obovoid, ovoid, or oblong, faintly striate; pappus absent or a minute crown.

Approximately 380 species, mainly in the northern hemisphere, with poor representations in Africa, Australia and Central and South America; 187 species and 46 varieties in China; in Taiwan, 15 species, one of which is represented by two varieties.

Many species are rich in polyacetylenes, flavonoids, terpenoids, and cyanogenic glycosides and are well known medicinal plants. Some species are used to stabilize sand in desert and semidesert areas or as feed for livestock.

  • Koyama, H. 1995. Artemisia L. In K. Iwatsuki, T. Yamazaki, D. E. Boufford, and H. Ohba (eds.), Flora of Japan 3(b): 79-88.
  • Ling, Y. R. 1988. The Chinese Artemisia Linn.—The classification, distribution and application of Artemisia Linn. in China. Bull. Bot. Res. 8(4): 1-61.
  • Ling, Y. R. 1991. Anthemideae (2). In Y. Ling & Y. R. Ling (eds.), Fl. Reipubl. Popul. Sin. 76(2): 1-321


1 Central florets fertile; style as long as or longer than corolla, branches divergent, recurved at apex.   (2)
+ Central florets sterile; style shorter than corolla, usually not divergent, 2-cleft, apex clavate or funnelform.   (12)
2 (1) Receptacle hairy; middle cauline leaves bipinnatisect, segments 4 or 5 pairs, ultimate lobes 2-8×0.6-1 mm.   Artemisia niitakayamensis
+ Receptacle naked; middle cauline leaves undivided or 2-4-pinnately divided, ultimate segments 2-8(-10) pairs, ultimate lobes triangularly serrate.   (3)
3 (2) Leaves undivided, ovate or ovate-elliptic or ovate-lanceolate; involucral bracts scarious throughout, glabrous, midrib not green.   Artemisia anomala
+ Leaves divided; involucral bracts scarious only on margins, midrib green.   (4)
4 (3) Stems and branches not glandular or viscid, but puberulent or glabrescent.   (5)
+ Stems and branches glandular or viscid hairy.   (11)
5 (4) Heads globose, rarely semiglobose or ovoid; ultimate lobes of leaf blade less than 1(-1.5) mm wide.   (6)
+ Heads ellipsoid to oblong, rarely subglobose or ovoid-campanulate; ultimate lobes of leaf blade more than (1.5-)2 mm wide.   (8)
6 (5) Perennial herbs, stem somewhat woody near base; middle cauline leaves 1- or 2-pinnatisect or parted; heads in racemose-paniculate inflorescences.   Artemisia tsugitakaensis
+ Annual or biennial herbs; middle cauline leaves pinnatisect or pinnately divided; heads in paniculate inflorescences.   (7)
7 (6) Herbs biennial; middle cauline leaves pinnatisect, lobes linear or linear-lanceolate; heads obconical, 4-5 mm in diam.   Artemisia fukudo
+ Herbs annual, middle cauline leaves 2-3(-4) pinnately divided, lobes deeply triangular serrate; heads globose, 1.5-2.5 mm in diam.   Artemisia annua
8 (5) Leaves obviously white glandular punctate, concave between veinlets; middle cauline leaves 1.5-2.5(-3) cm long, 2-3 mm broad, 2- or 3-lobed or -sect, lobes acute   Artemisia lancea
+ Leaves not glandular punctate, flat between veinlets, middle cauline leaves more than 2.5 cm long and 3 mm broad, 1- or 2-pinnatisect, lobes or lobules usually obtuse or acute.   (9)
9 (8) Heads ellipsoid or oblong, 1.5-2.5(-3) mm in diam.   Artemisia japonica
+ Heads semiglobose, subglobose or campanulate-ovoid, (3-)3.5-7 mm in diam.   (10)
10 (9) Middle cauline leaves 2-4×1-2 cm, segments 3(-4) pairs, ultimate lobes 10-30×0.5-1 mm; heads in racemose-paniculate inflorescens,   Artemisia kawakamii
+ Middle cauline leaves 5-7×3-4 cm, segments 4 or 5, rarely 3 pairs, ultimate lobes 20-40×2-3 mm; heads in narrowly paniculate inflorescences.   Artemisia somai
11 (4) Stems and branches densely viscid hairy, sparsely glandular pubescent; middle cauline leaves sessile, lobes 3-6(-8) mm broad, margins revolute, upper surface glandular pubescent and sparsely arachnoid pubescent, lower surface tomentose; color of axillary hairs different from other hairs   Artemisia chingii
+ Stem and branches sparsely pubescent and glandular pubescent or non-pubescent; middle cauline leaves shortly petiolulate, lobes 0.3-1 cm broad, non-revolute; hair color uniform throughout   Artemisia simulans
12 (1) Ultimate lobes of leaf blade spatulate or obovate, more than 2 mm wide; central florets lacking ovaries.   Artemisia japonica
+ Ultimate lobes of leaf blade filiform, narrowly linear or subulate, less than l.5 mm wide; central florets usually with reduced ovaries.   (13)
13 (12) Perennial herbs or subshrubs, 15-35 cm tall; heads semiglobose, 3-4 mm in diam., in racemose-paniculate inflorescences.   Artemisia oligocarpa
+ Perennial herbs or subshrubs, mostly more than 40 cm tall; heads ovoid or subglobose, 1-2 mm in diam., in narrow to broad paniculate inflorescences.   (14)
14 (13) Subshrubs, 40-120 cm tall, with more branches and branchlets; heads in broadly and more branchedly paniculate inflorescences.   Artemisia capillaris

  • List of lower taxa


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