Description from Flora of China
Artemisia subg. Seriphidium Besser ex Lessing, Syn. Gen. Compos. 264. 1832 ["Scriphida"].
Shrubs or herbs, caespitose or solitary in annual herbs, strongly aromatic, sterile branched, tomentose, arachnoid pubescent, or glabrescent. Leaves alternate. Lowermost or middle stem leaves 2- or 3(or 4)-pinnatisect, -cleft, pectinately sect, or ternately 3-sect; lobes or lobules narrowly linear, or narrowly lanceolate, rarely filiform, elliptic, or pectinate. Uppermost leaves and leaflike bracts divided or entire. Capitula in narrow or broad panicles, rarely spicate panicles, sessile, ellipsoid or oblong, rarely ovoid, ovoid-campanulate, or globose, heterogamous, disciform. Phyllaries in (3 or)4-6(or 7) series, densely pubescent or arachnoid pubescent. Bisexual florets (1-)3-12(-20); anther appendages linear or linear-lanceolate. Achenes ovoid or obovoid, subcompressed.
Some species contain flavonoids and santonin; some are used for medicine.
Molecular data (Watson et al., BMC Evolutionary Biology; http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/2/17/; accessed 10 Apr 2011) show that the Old World members of Seriphidium s.s. form a well-defined monophyletic group embedded within Old World Artemisia s.l. The New World members (A. sect. Tridentatae L. M. Schultz) formed a polyphyletic group distributed among New World species of Artemisia and are here excluded from Seriphidium s.s.
About 100 species: arid regions of C, S, and SW Asia (including Arabian peninsula), N Africa, Europe; 31 species (six endemic) in China.
(Authors: Lin Yourun (林有润 Ling Yeou-ruenn, Ling Yuou-ruen); Christopher J. Humphries, Michael G. Gilbert)