Artemisia arborescens,Tree Wormwood,
Hebrew: שיבה ,לענה שיחנית, Arabic: أرتميزيا

Scientific name:  Artemisia arborescens L.
Common name:  Tree Wormwood
Hebrew name:  שיבה ,לענה שיחנית
Arabic name:  أرتميزيا
Family:  Compositae / Asteraceae, מורכבים

Fleurs sauvages, Wildblumen, Fiori, флоры, Flores Silvestres, أرتميزيا

Life form:  Chamaephyte
Stems:  Spreading shrub to 100cm or more; woody at the base
Leaves:  Alternate, dissected twice or more
Flowers:  Yellow
Fruits / pods:  Usually smooth, occasionally hairy
Flowering Period:  April, May, June, July, August, September, October
Habitat:  Mediterranean maquis and forest
Distribution:  Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands
Chorotype:  Mediterranean
Summer shedding:  Perenating

Artemisia arborescens, Tree Wormwood, לענה שיחנית, أرتميزيا


Derivation of the botanical name:
Artemisia, Ἀρτεμισία, referring to the Greek goddess Artemis who so benefited from a plant of this family that she gave it her own name. Plants described by Dioscorides & Pliny like wormword or mugwort from which the genus name Artemisia is taken. An alternative possibility for the derivation of this name is that it comes from Queen Artemisia II of Caria, sister and wife of King Mausolus, who ruled after his death from 352 to 350 B.C.E. and built during her short reign one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, which she unfortunately did not live to see the completion of.
arborescens, arbor, "tree", escens, "becoming like", "incomplete resemblance -ish"; tree like.
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
Various species of Wormwood, Hebrew la'anah (Greek Ἀρτεμισία, Arabic Sheeba), grow in the Holy Land. La'anah, לענה, has a strong bitter taste, with the characteristic odor of thujone, and the whitish plant is closely covered with fine, silky hairs. The Hebrews considered all bitter-tasting plants to be poisonous and la'anah offers a most emphatic and unmistakable metaphor: ... that there will not be among you a root bearing poisonous fruit and wormwood (Deuteronomy 29:18).
The medical use of Artemisia dates back to ancient Egypt and is mentioned in the Ebers Papyrus (c.1550 BCE). Pythagoras(c.582-c.507 BCE), Greek philosopher and mathematician, thought that wormwood leaves in wine would ease childbirth, and Hippocrates (c.460-c.377 BCE), Greek physician, recommended it for period pains, as well as anemia and rheumatism.
The essential oil in Artemisia was an ingredient in the alcoholic aperitif called absinthe, which was first created by Henri Pernod in 1797. By 1910, France's rate of absinthe consumption had topped some 36 million liters per year.

Bible resources:
  1. Deuteronomy 29:18
    "so that there will not be among you a man or woman, or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of those nations; that there will not be among you (B)a root bearing poisonous fruit and wormwood".
  2. Proverbs 5:4
    But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.
  3. Jeremiah 9:15
    therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, "behold, (A)I will feed them, this people, with wormwood and give them (B)poisoned water to drink.
  4. Jeremiah 23:15
    'Behold, I am going to (A)feed them wormwood And make them drink poisonous water.
  5. Lamentations 3:19
    Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness.
  6. Revelations 8:11
    The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.