Amberd Castle Wormwood
Origin: Amberd Castle Fortress, Armenia
Improvement Status: Wild
Seeds per packet: ~50
EFN INTRODUCTION. Wormwood is a powerful medicinal perennial herb native to Eurasia and North Africa. It is most famous as the bitter key ingredient in absinthe and is used to flavor other alcoholic drinks as well. While it has a reputation for being a dangerous plant, it is only toxic in incredibly high doses. It has likely been used by humans for many thousands of years, used to spice tea, mead, and particularly beer (before hops become the predominant flavoring and preservative for beer). It is also said to have many traditional medicinal uses, including against digestive issues and various infectious diseases.
The wormwood on sale here comes from a population growing at an ancient hilltop fortress in Armenia known as Amberd Castle, high above the Amberd River, about fifty miles north of Mount Ararat. The site is believed to have served as a fortress since the Bronze Age, for perhaps 4000 years. It was known as a fort during the Roman era, and later as a summer residence for Armenian royalty. A beautiful stone Orthodox Christian church was built nearby in the year 1026 and still stands today. In 2001, a botanical expedition to the site collected a number of plants, including this wormwood, which is now maintained by the USDA at the Western Regional Plant Introduction Station in Pullman, Washington. There's no way of knowing whether this wormwood simply blew onto the site as a wild plant or if it was planted by people in ancient times. In either case, we are certain this is a special plant and we know you'll love it too.
GROWING TIPS: These are some of the tiniest seeds you'll find outside of the orchid family. They are certainly the smallest seeds we've ever dealt with. Don't sneeze! Surface sow in flats or in well-prepared, rich soil. They want light when they're germinating, so don't bury seeds. Leave plenty of room for each plant (at least a square foot), because they eventually will get big. These are very hardy perennial plants that will likely persist for a long time whereever you plant them. The pale green foliage is very attractive.