Artemisia abrotanum Linn. Compositae. Old Man. Southernwood.
Europe and temperate Asia. This artemisia forms an ingredient, says Lindley, in some continental beers.
Cultivated in Europe and in England in cottage gardens on a large scale. Bridge-man, 1832, is the first writer on American gardening who mentions absinthe but now its seeds are cataloged for sale by all our larger dealers. It is classed among medicinal herbs but is largely used in France to flavor the cordial, absinthe, and in America in compounding bitters. The seed is used by the rectifiers of spirits and the plant is largely cultivated in some districts of England for this purpose. It is said occasionally to form an ingredient of sauces in cookery.
East Europe, the Orient and Himalayan regions. Tarragon was brought to Italy, probably from the shores of the Black Sea, in recent times. The first mention on record is by Simon Seth, in the middle of the twelfth century, but it appears to have been scarcely known as a condiment until the sixteenth century. It was brought to England in or about 1548. The flowers, as Vilmorin says, are always barren, so that the plant can be propagated only by division. Tarragon culture is mentioned by the botanists of the sixteenth century and in England by Gerarde, 1597, and by succeeding authors on gardening. Rauwolf, 1573-75, found it in the gardens of Tripoli. In America, it is mentioned by McMahon, 1806. Its roots are now included in our leading seed catalogs. Tarragon has a fragrant smell and an aromatic taste for which it is greatly esteemed by the French. In Persia, it has long been customary to use the leaves to create an appetite. Together with the young tips, the leaves are put in salads, in pickles and in vinegar for a fish sauce. They are also eaten with beefsteaks, served with horseradish. Tarragon vinegar, says McIntosh, is much esteemed.
Artemisia maritima Linn. Worm-Seed.
Caucasian region, Siberia and Europe. It is a bitter tonic and aromatic. It was formerly used to make a conserve with sugar.
Artemisia mutellina Vill. Alpine Wormwood.
Europe. The plant is used on the continent in the preparation of Eau d'absinthe, which is in request amongst epicures.
Artemisia spicata Wulf. Spiked Wormwood.
Europe. The plant is used on the continent in the preparation of Eau d'absinthe.
Artemisia vulgaris Linn. Fellon-Herb. Mugwort.
Northern temperate regions. Mugwort was employed, says Johnson, to a great extent for flavoring beer before the introduction of the hop. It is still used in England to flavor the home-made beer of the cottagers. On the continent, it is occasionally employed as an aromatic, culinary herb.
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World, 1919, was edited by U. P. Hedrick.