Chinese Mugwort Artemisia Argyi Seeds Ai Cao
艾草 ai cao
Artemisia argyi var. incana (Maximowicz) Pampanini; A. chiarugii Pampanini; A. handel-mazzetii Pampanini; A. nutans Nakai; A. nutantiflora Nakai; A. princeps Pampanini var. candicans Pampanini, p.p.; A. vulgaris Linnaeus var. incana Maximowicz; A. vulgaris var. incanescens Franchet.
Herbs, perennial, or subshrubs, 80-150(-250) cm tall, with many lateral roots, shortly branched apically, gray arachnoid pubescent, strongly aromatic. Middle stem leaves: petiole 2-3 mm; leaf blade ovate, triangular-ovate, or subrhombic, 5-8 × 4-7 cm, abaxially densely gray arachnoid tomentose, adaxially incanous pubescent and white gland-dotted, 1(or 2)-pinnatipartite or -cleft; segments 2 or 3 pairs, usually serrate, base attenuate; veins abaxially prominent. Uppermost leaves and leaflike bracts pinnatipartite to 3-partite, or entire; bracts elliptic, elliptic-lanceolate, or lanceolate. Synflorescence a narrow panicle with branches to 10 cm, ascending, lower ones subtended by leaflike bracts. Capitula secund, not touching, subsessile. Involucre ellipsoid, 2.5-3(-3.5) mm in diam.; phyllaries arachnoid pubescent, or glabrescent. Marginal female florets 6-10. Disk florets 8-12, bisexual. Achenes ovoid-oblong or oblong. Fl. and fr. Jul-Oct. 2n = 36.
Artemisia argyi is used in making important anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, and hemostatic drugs. Leaf form is very variable: plants with slender, more deeply divided, pinnatipartite middle stem leaves have been placed in A. argyi var. gracilis Pampanini (朝鲜艾 chao xian ai), but, as such leaves are found throughout the range of the species, it does not seem worthwhile to formally separate them.
Waste places, roadsides, slopes, hills, steppes, forest steppes; low elevations to 1500 m. Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Korea, Mongolia, Russia].
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