Latin name: Artemisia spp.
Plant description: Tall, many-branched ‘weeds’ with a reddish stem and fern-like leaves that are downy and white beneath. The flowers are small, greenish and inconspicuous and carried on long spikes.
Distribution: widespread with representatives in temperate regions of the world, preferring dry or semi-dry habitats. It is found on disturbed ground, waysides and field margins.
Allergenicity and other health impacts: Mugwort is quite highly allergenic and can cross-react with many foods, including peach, lettuce and celery. It can also cross-react with other pollen types from the daisy family, including the highly allergenic ragweed which is common in central Europe and the USA.
Season: Late June to early September, peaking in July. Mugwort is wind-pollinated but concentrations of the pollen tend to be low in the general airstream and higher near the actual plants.