Louisiana Wormwood (Louisiana Sagewort; Wormwood)
Family: Asteraceae (A Utah Flora – Compositae) – Sunflower Family
Perennial aromatic herbs; the juice watery; stems 7.9” to 3.3' (2 to 10 dm) tall or more
Leaves: alternate; simple; entire, lobed or incised; has hairs on underside, can have hairs above; 0.32” to 3.6” (0.8 to 9 cm) long, 0.04” to 0.8” (0.1 to 2 cm) wide
Flowers: yellow disk flowers only; perfect, or sometimes the central ones sterile; flower head appears to be a single flower, but is composed of several flowers (a composite). Involucres 0.1” to 0.18” (2.5 to 4.5 mm) high, 0.12” to 0.28” (3 to 7 mm) wide or more
Fruits: achene – 1 seeded with hard shell
Blooms in Arches National Park: August, September, October, November
Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub, grassland, pinyon-juniper and hanging garden communities
Location seen: Park Avenue , Fiery Furnace
Other: This genus is named for Artemisia, queen of Caria (ca 400 B.C.), a botanist and scholar, who might have been named for the Greek goddess Artemis. Caria is now a part of Turkey . The species name, “ludoviciana”, means either "of or from Louisiana” or “of St. Louis” describing part of the plant's range. Thomas Nuttall (1786-1859) described this species in his The Genera of North American Plants of 1818. He visited the Mandan villages in what is now North Dakota in 1810 and 1811.
This family is the most advanced and complex of the dicots. The family is rich in oils and resins and is found in every part of the world, but is infrequent in the tropical rainforest. Aquatic or semi-aquatic species are also uncommon.
Did You Know?
Lizards, including the colorful collared lizard, are one of the most frequently seen animals at Arches. When not chasing flies or basking in the sun, they are often seen doing what appears to be push-ups. This odd dance might enhance their stereoscopic vision, helping them see what's looking back at them.