Thursday, July 26, 2012

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ as Bonsai

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ is a very touchable looking plant, with silvery-grey deep-cut leaves with bitter taste and a mild camphor-spice fragrance. It is derived from Artemisia Absinthium (wormwood), one of the renowned "bitter herbs" mentioned in the Bible and Shakespeare's works Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet, used over the years to flavor Absinthe and other notorious liqueurs, wines and vermouth.

Artemisia Powis Castle bonsai (dwarf wormwood)

We like it because it is a dwarf variety of wormwood, and as you already know, we like to keep them in containers and bonsai pots. This plant was re-potted and  cut back to 20 centimeters in spring ( it is not recommended to cut it back in the fall).  

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ has an upright shrubby growing habit and its slender stems with downy whitish hairs become woody when aging. Last year it had a display of tiny yellow florets rising from its lace silvery foliage till late autumn, whose beauty is still unseen this summer, perhaps due the capricious and cold weather, although  it is a very suitable plant to be grown in Vancouver's mild climate (it is drought tolerant in sunny summer days and may be overwintered outside (USDA zone 6-9).

Artemisia Powis Castle silvery foliage (dwarf wormwood)

It really looks great in herb containers, and makes a beautiful Bonsai too.  We 've chosen this pot with greyish waves to match its foliage. How do you like it?

Artemisia Powis Castle bonsai in pot with greyish waves

Artemisia is a genus of plants from Asteraceae family, with many usages all over the world  in herbal medicine, essential oils, liqueurs and food industries.

Artemisia wormwood and Pelargonium southernwood foliage
Artemisia wormwood and Pelargonium southernwood foliage

Most popular are: Artemisia Dracunculus aka "Tarragon",  Artemisia tridentata aka "Sagebrush", Artemisia vulgaris  aka "Mugwort", Artemisia Abrotanum aka "Southernwood" (scent/foliage similar with  Pelargonium Abrotanifolium) , and, of course, Artemisia Absinthium  aka Wormwood .


Their leaves make always an impressive array of textures, colors and shapes and their fragrances and flavors have been  appreciated in any scented garden since ancient times.   


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