Roman Wormwood.

Absynthium Romanum.

Also see: The Wormseed Plant - Common Wormwood - Sea Wormwood - Roman Wormwood.

A very delicate plant of the wormwood kind, native of the warmer parts of Europe, but kept in our gardens. It is two feet and a half high; the stalk is round, smooth, hard, upright, of a brownish colour, and somewhat woody. The leaves stand irregularly on it, and they are small and divided into very fine segments: they are more like the leaves of the common southernwood in figure, than those of either of the other wormwoods. The flowers are little and brown, like those of common wormwood, but vastly smaller; they are very numerous, and stand at the tops of the stalks in a kind of long and thick spikes. The root is creeping and spreading, and composed of fibres. The whole plant has a bitter taste, but not at all like that of wormwood, extremely aromatic and pleasing. The flowers are very bitter, and have little of this aromatic flavour.

The fresh tops are used, and the whole plant dried. It is excellent to strengthen the stomach; but that is not all its virtue. The juice of the fresh tops is good against obstructions of the liver and spleen, and has been known singly to cure the jaundice.

The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.