[Wormwoods of the Columbia River Gorge]

Dragon Wormwood

Artemisia dracunculus

Dragon wormwood found east of Celilo, OR..............September 23, 2001.

The photo at right shows an upper branch with its associated leaves and flower heads of dragon wormwood from Celilo, OR..............September 23, 2001.

Dragon wormwood is an erect, perennial herb with many branched stems arising 50-150 cm high from a thick rhizome. The herbage is typically smooth and lacking in hairs, although some plants may occasionally contain some long, soft hairs which are loosely arranged. The stems and leaves also range from odorless to strongly odiforous. The leaves are linear, ranging from 3-8 cm long and 2-10 mm wide with enitre margins, occasionally with a cleft on the margin. The lower leaves tend to be deciduous by bloom time.

The inflorescence consists of many panicles at the ends of the side branches. The infolucres range from 2-4 mm high.


Dragon wormwood is found in dry open places from the plains to moderate elevations in the mountains.


Dragon wormwood is an Eurasian native which was introduced to North America and may now be found from the Yukon and British Columbia south through the Pacific Northwest to Baja California and east to Manitoba, Illinois, Texas and northern Mexico. It is generally found east of the Cascade Mts.

In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between the elevations of 100'-500' from The Dalles, OR east to Biggs, OR.

Paul Slichter