CALIFORNIA MUGWORT

Artemisia douglasiana

Chumash: molǝš Español: Yerba Ceniza/Estafiate

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Plant Description

Category: Herb

Origin: Western United States

Evergreen: Yes

Flower Color: Sage green

Bloomtime: Spring

Height: 2ft

Width: 6 inches

Esposure: Full sun to part shade

Drought Tolerant: Somewhat

Irrigation: Moderate

Alternate Names: Dream Plant, Douglas' Sagewort

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California mugwort is a western North American perennial herbaceous aromatic plant. The plant prefers direct sunlight and moist soils, but tolerates shady areas and dry soils. Mugwort helps to stabilize banks and it best propagates from its root source. Its seeds are foraged by a variety of native birds and its leaves are used as nesting material by some native bees. Mugwort is used by Native American tribes as a medicinal plant to relieve joint pain and headaches, and to treat abrasions and rashes (including poison oak). It is also used to treat women's reproductive issues, including irregular menstruation and occasionally used as an abortifacient. 

This plant also has ceremonial and spiritual purposes for many tribes. It has been histortically carried to ward off spririts of the dead. Putting muwort under your pillow or drinking a tea is said to give the sleeper vivid dreams. The rolled up dead leaves of this plant are valuable as a tinder source when making friction fires. 

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