Several species are valuable for interesting leaf patterns and silvery gray or white aromatic foliage (flowers are generally insignificant). Most kinds are excellent in mixed borders, where their white or silvery leaves soften harsh reds and oranges and blend beautifully with blues, lavenders, and pinks. Provide good drainage. Cut nonwoody-stemmed perennials to ground in late fall to rejuvenate; prune back woody perennials and shrubs (into older wood if necessary) before first flush of spring growth. Divide perennials in spring or fall; propagate shrubs by cuttings.
Native to coastal region from NorthernCalifornia to Baja California. To1 1/2–5 ft. tall, 4–7 ft. wide, with finely divided, aromatic, grayish white leaves. Foliage is lush in winter and somewhat sparse in summer. Reseeds manageably. Superior selections include ‘Canyon Gray’, which grows 1–2 ft. tall (with occasional pruning of upright stems) and 6–10 ft. wide; and ‘Montara’, with a mounding habit to 2 ft. tall and 3–5 ft. wide. Both makeexcellent groundcovers.
Artemisia absinthium is a probable parent of this hybrid woody perennial, which grows into a silvery, lacy mound 3 ft. tall and 6 ft. wide. It makes a splendid background for bright flowers of other plants and is tough enough to use as a bank or berm cover.