Description from Flora of China
Herbs, annual or perennial, subshrubs, or shrubs, usually strongly and pleasantly aromatic, indumentum absent or of basifixed, medifixed, gland-tipped or viscid hairs. Leaves alternate, pinnate, rarely palmately divided or entire. Synflorescences racemose, sometimes spicate, usually grouped into panicles; capitula usually many, often secund, usually small, shortly pedunculate to sessile, heterogamous, disciform. Involucres globose, ovoid, or ellipsoid; phyllaries in 3 or 4 rows, completely scarious or herbaceous with broad to narrow scarious margin. Receptacle convex or flat, epaleate, glabrous or pubescent. Marginal florets in 1(or 2) series, 3-10 or more, female; corolla tubular, rarely vasiform, cup-shaped, or conical, apex 2(-4)-toothed; style exserted, apex acute. Disk florets several to many, in 2 or more series, male or bisexual; corolla tubular, apex 5-toothed. Anthers with 2 obtuse basal appendages, apical appendage acute, triangular. Style ca. as long as or longer than corolla, divergent, and with a truncate or folding and pedunculate apex, or sometimes shorter than corolla, not divergent, apex clavate or funnelform. Achenes obovoid, ovoid, or oblong, faintly striate. Corona absent or minute.
Many species are rich in polyacetylenes, flavonoids, terpenoids, and cyanogenic glycosides and are well-known medicinal plants. Drugs based on artemisinin, originally derived from Artemisia annua, are particularly important for the treatment of chloroquine-resistant strains of malaria. Artemisia abrotanum Linnaeus, A. absinthium, A. dracunculus, and A. vulgaris are widely cultivated as culinary and medicinal herbs. Some are used to stabilize sand in desert or semidesert areas or as herbage for feeding livestock.
A possible record of Artemisia quinqueloba Trautvetter from China (Pampanini, Nuovo Giorn. Bot. Ital., n.s., 34: 685. 1927) cannot be confirmed, as the specimen on which it was based, "Songoria, Schrenk" (B), is no longer extant.
About 380 species: mainly in the N Hemisphere, also in Africa, Australia, and Central and South America; 186 species (82 endemic) in China.
(Authors: Lin Yourun (林有润 Ling Yeou-ruenn, Ling Yuou-ruen); Christopher J. Humphries, Michael G. Gilbert)