Galls and Rusts List 

MUGWORT

Artemisia vulgaris

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]

Flowers:
month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZarchaeophyte
 
flower
flower8brown
 
inner
inner8yellow
 
inner
inner8red
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ0
(5)
type
typeZclustered
 
type
typeZtubular
 
stem
stem8round
 
stem
stem8ribbed
 
smell
smell8aromatic
aromatic
toxicity
toxicityZmedium
 

11th Aug 2016, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Grows up to 1.5m on waste ground, here on the tractor verge and public footpath between two fields.


11th Aug 2016, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Stems purplish. Much-branched with many compact flower spikes covering the upper parts of the branches.


11th Aug 2016, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
When in flower, as here, the tips of the flower spike bend over. Sapling tree (larger paler-reen un-cut growing in front of the Mugwort and Himalayan Balsam to right.


14th Aug 2008, disused railway, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flower spikes have far fewer leaves which are just simple and narrow.


11th Aug 2016, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers still in bud. Lower leaves deeply-cut.


11th Aug 2016, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers still in bud. Upper leaves simple, narrow lanceolate.


11th Aug 2016, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
In flower. The flowers lack ray-florets and never open properly, displaying just the end part.


11th Aug 2016, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers still in bud. Upper stem leaves are stalkless, green on upper surface and off-white on under-surface to to matted hairs.


11th Aug 2016, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers still in bud. Long narrow green bracts clasp the flower buds which are hidden within a mass of matted white hairs.


11th Aug 2016, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers still in bud. Upper narrow leaves have a single raised vein on the underside.


11th Aug 2016, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers still in bud. The matt of hairs protecting each flower.


13th Aug 2010, Hooton, Wirral, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
Flowers open, between 1.5 and 3mm across, smaller than the 3-5mm of Wormwood. The flowers are tubular with the yellow anthers protruding from the ends, the yellow styles are shorter and discoidal at the end surrounded by a red sheath with 5 reflexed teeth (best seen in centre of the bottom right flower).


11th Aug 2016, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
There might be 5-10 florets within one flower.


11th Aug 2016, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Yellow anthers poke out everywhere.


11th Aug 2016, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Two tiny pale-yellow stigmas are clearly visible just right and bottom of centre. The outer florets are female, the inner bisexual, or so the books say...


11th Aug 2016, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Protruding yellow anthers prominent in this photo.


11th Aug 2016, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD


11th Aug 2016, arable fields, Burscough Bridge, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Stems can be woolly too where the flowers are.


11th July 2007, Ashursts Beacon, Parbold, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Lower part of stem has but few hairs, is usually reddish-purple and ribbed or fluted, whichever takes your fancy. Leaves between 5cm and 8cm long.


11th July 2007, Ashursts Beacon, Parbold, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Most lower leaves are have deeply cut leaves.


31st July 2011, canalside, Nob End Locks, MB&B canal, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Leaf lobes >2mm wide. Mature leaves hairless on upperside.


31st July 2011, canalside, Nob End Locks, MB&B canal, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
All leaves are greenish-white on underside with matted hairs.


31st July 2011, canalside, Nob End Locks, MB&B canal, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
The matted hairs. Leaflets in-rolled. There are some obvious tiny yellow eggs of some insect on the underside here.



ACERIA ARTEMESIAE GALL

20th Aug 2014, Ainsdale, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The gall mite Aceria artemisiae, which are first green turning brown later, causes rounded irregular small lumps on the upper surface of Mugwort leaves which are up to 2mm high and sometimes stalked.


20th Aug 2014, Ainsdale, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Not shown here, but on the underside of the leaf is a small opening ringed by short hairs.


Photo: © RWD
They may have white hairs on the surface.


Not to be semantically confused with : Mudwort (Limosella aquatica) [a plant with similar name which your Author has never knowingly come across despite slipping through dozens of mud-flats onto his back or front]

Easily mistaken for : Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium). The differences are shown below:
Mugwort is aromatic when crushed and new, older plant almost odourless. The similar Wormwood is much more aromatic when crushed. The flowers, when open (at the ends only) are smaller than those of Wormwood and the flowers are more tubular in Mugwort (rather bell-shaped in Wormwood) The leaves of Wormwood are grey-hairy all over unlike those of Mugwort which are matted hairy on underside only. The flowers of Wormwood droop down facing the ground much more than do those of Mugwort. Wormwood is slightly shorter at up to 1m (rather than up to 1.5m (2m max) of Mugwort.

Some similarities to : Chinese Mugwort (Artemisia verlotiorum) but that has darker leaves (on upper side) which are much deeply cut and with the leaflets spread outsubtending a much greater angle than the acute angle of Mudwort leaves. It grows to the same height as does Mugwort (1.5m).

Slight resemblance to : Sea Wormwood (Artemisia maritimum) but that only grows in (drier) saltmarshes or on sea-walls.

Loose resemblance to : Hoary Mugwort (Artemisia stelleriana) is a shorter (at 60cm high) perennial with much larger (5-9mm across) flowers and the whole plant is hoary whitish and is not aromatic when crushed. It grows on maritime dunes.

Mugwort is much the commoner of the many Artemisia species of plants. Seeds hairless: has receptacular scales, but no pappus. It is an archaeophyte growing in waste places, waysides, bare ground, rough ground, hedgebanks and verges being common at low altitudes.

ESSENTIAL OIL of MUGWORT

The constituents of the Essential Oil:
IsoBornyl IsoButyrate (38%), Chrysanthenyl Acetate (24%), β-Pinene (13%), 1,8-Cineole (aka Eucalyptol) (18%), Thujone (β-Thujone and α-Thujone forms) (20%), Germacrene D (15%), Thujone (13%), Caryophyllene (12%), Artemesia Ketone (8%), γ-Muurolene (9%), Sabinene (8%), Camphor (7%). Limonene (6%), 3-Carene (5%), Myrcene (5%), α-Pinene (3%), Octen-3-ol (3%), γ-Terpinene (3%), Artemisia Alcohol (3%), Ocimene (3%), trans-Rose Oxide (2%), γ-Terpinene (2%), Terpinen-4-ol (1%), n-Nonanol (1%), iso-3-Thujanol (1%), Humulene (1%), Spathuthenol (1%), α-Gurjunene, Camphene (1%), Santolina Triene (0.6%), Myrtenal (0.6%), α-Copaene (0.6%), α-Cadinol (0.5%), Caryophyllene Alcohol (0.5%), Arbusculone (0.4%) Artemisia Triene (0.2%), Caryophyllene Oxide (0.1%), Pentyl Butyrate (0.1%),

Dozens of other components at still lower concentrations have been observed. It is reasonable to expect that, being volatile to varying degrees, almost all of the above will have an aroma of some sort, pleasant or foul.

These are the maximum concentrations found; the minimum can be, and often is, anything from the maximum all the way down to zero especially for the more volatile and lighter aromatic compounds. This is why they do not add up to 100%. The exact composition often has more to do with the soil, the environment, pests and pathogens and the weather than much else. The proportions also vary with season: the monoterpenes are highest when Mugwort is flowering, whilst the sesquiterpenes (with 50% more atoms and hence less volatile) are at their highest concentrations before flowering.

The constituents shown below are just a small selection of the known terpenoids often found within the essential oil of Mugwort.


Artemisia Triene, C10H15 and Artemisia Alcohol C10H18O, Artemisia Ketone C10H16O, and Santolina Triene (sometimes mis-spelled 'Santalina Triene') C10H15 all have ten carbon atoms, although with differing arrangements. Both Artemisia Triene, Artemisia Alcohol and Artemisia Ketone have the same carbon skeleton, but differing arrangements of the position of some double-bonds between the carbon atoms. Santolina Triene has a shorter carbon backbone than either of the other three. Artemisia Triene and Santolina Triene are both monoterpenes and in particular are alkatrienes, the other two are monoterpenoids.


Santolina is a genus of plants in the Chamomile tribe which is in the Asteraceae family in which SantolinaTriene was first found.


IsoBornyl IsoButyrate is used in the perfume industry. It has a Camphor skeleton of a 6-membered carbon ring with a diagonal carbon bridge. It possesses a 'balsamic' or pine-needle odour.


Both Spathuthenol and α-Gurjurene are tricyclic sesquiterpenenoids of the Aromadendrane type. They possess a fused propane ring. Spathuthenol is an alcohol which is also found in Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus), Perforate St John's-wort (Hypericum perforatum), Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) several species of Nepeta including Catnip (Nepeta cataria) and in several other Genera. Gurjunene is similar but is wholy hydrocarbon and with a double-bond in the 5-membered ring.

Rose Oxide has two isomers, trans- and cis- Rose Oxide. Both are found in Roses but only the cis- isomer is responsible for the rose aroma; it has an odour threshold of just 0.5ppb so very little needs to be in the air to be detectable by human nose. It too is used by the perfume industry, but is synthesised for this purpose. At its heart is a pyran ring with a heterocyclic oxygen atom.



  Artemisia vulgaris  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Asteraceae  

Distribution
 family8Daisy & Dandelion family8Asteraceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Artemisia
Artemisia
(Wormwoods)

MUGWORT

Artemisia vulgaris

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]