(Artemisia dracunculus)

Conservation Status


No image available

  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed


Tarragon is a 24 to 60 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on a single stem or in a cluster of numerous stems from fibrous roots and a short rhizome or branching caudex. When crushed, the leaves and stem may be either not fragrant to only slightly fragrant or strongly tarragon-scented.

The stems are erect or ascending, stiff. They are green at first, later turning brown or reddish-brown and becoming somewhat woody. They are sometimes hairless, usually sparsely to moderately covered with short, curly hairs.

Basal leaves are narrowly linear, 2 to 3 long, and to 3 16 wide. They have a pair, rarely two pairs, of slender, ascending lobes near the base. The leaves and lobes are sharply pointed at the tip. In Minnesota, the upper and lower surfaces are usually bright green and hairless. They are not silvery or whitish in appearance. The margins are untoothed.

Stem leaves are alternate, to 2¾ long, 1 32 to 3 16 wide, and otherwise similar to basal leaves. Lower, larger stem leaves are sometimes lobed. Middle and upper stem leaves are rarely lobed. Stem leaves do not have leaf-like stipules or stipule-like lobes or teeth at the base.

The inflorescence is an open, leafy, 6 to 18 long, 2½ to 11½ wide, branched cluster (panicle) of numerous, densely spaced flower heads at the end of the stems and branches.

The flower head is small and ball-shaped. It is on a slender, very short, sometimes nodding flower stalk. The whorl of bracts at the base of the flower head (involucre) is 1 16 to long and wide. On the margin of the disc are 6 to 25 pale yellow florets with both stamens and pistils that are fertile and produce fruits. In the center are 8 to 200 pale yellow florets that also have both stamens and pistils, but have abortive ovaries and do not produce fruits. There is no floral scent.

The fruit is a tiny achene.




24 to 60


Flower Color


Pale yellow


Similar Species




Dry. Prairies, roadsides. Full sun.




July to September


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 22, 28, 29, 30.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  


Asterales (sunflowers, bellflowers, fanflowers, and allies)  


Asteraceae (sunflowers, daisies, asters, and allies)  
  Subfamily Asteroideae  
  Supertribe Asterodae  
  Tribe Anthemideae (chamomiles, yarrows, and allies)  
  Subtribe Artemisiinae  
  Genus Artemisia (wormwoods and sagebrushes)  



Artemisia aromatica

Artemisia dracunculina

Artemisia dracunculoides

Artemisia dracunculoides var. dracunculina

Artemisia dracunculus ssp. dracunculina

Artemisia dracunculus ssp. glauca

Artemisia dracunculus var. glauca

Artemisia glauca

Artemisia glauca var. dracunculina

Artemisia glauca var. megacephala

Oligosporus dracunculus

Oligosporus dracunculus ssp. glaucus


Common Names



dragon sage-wort

dragon wormwood

false tarragon

French tarragon

green sagewort

silky wormwood











A dry, one-chambered, single-seeded fruit, formed from a single carpel, with the seed attached to the membranous outer layer (wall) only by the seed stalk; the wall, formed entirely from the wall of the superior ovary, does not split open at maturity, but relies on decay or predation to release the contents.



A short, thickened, woody, persistent enlargement of the stem, at or below ground level, used for water storage.



A whorl of bracts beneath or surrounding a flower or flower cluster.



Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.



A pyramidal inflorescence with a main stem and branches. Flowers on the lower, longer branches mature earlier than those on the shorter, upper ones.



A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.



A small, leaf-like, scale-like, glandular, or rarely spiny appendage found at the base of a leaf stalk, usually occurring in pairs and usually dropping soon.

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  Artemisia dracunculus
Matt Lavin
  Artemisia dracunculus  

Native short-rhizomatous perennial herb with loosely bunched stems to nearly 1 m tall, no basal rosette of leaves, green leaves entire and linear (a few might bear lobes), contrasting again reddish stems. Roadsides trailsides, and similarly disturbed settings.




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Other Videos
  Tarhon, planta, artemisia dracunculus L.
Adrian Manolache

Published on May 24, 2014




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