Artemisia ludoviciana 'Valerie Finnis' – Ballyrobert Gardens
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Artemisia ludoviciana 'Valerie Finnis'

Artemisia ludoviciana 'Valerie Finnis'

£5.99


About this cultivar:

Artemisia ludoviciana 'Valerie Finnis' was apparently introduced by the photographer....Valerie Finnis... who gave it to Beth Chatto who named it after her. Noted for its new shoots whose tips almost look like white flowers. I think it has a lovely wavey habit. In 1993 it was awarded this Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit.  Compared to 'Silver Queen' it has broader foliage and is a smaller plant. The specific epithet ludoviciana is in reference to the Old Louisiana Territory in the USA where the species is native and commonly called white sage. 

  • Position: Full sun, partial shade
  • Soil: Almost any soil that is reasonably well drained- grows well in Ballyrobert!
  • Flowers: August, September, October
  • Other features: Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit (RHS AGM), Interesting Foliage or Fruit, Scented
  • Hardiness: H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15°C), Fully hardy - grows well in Ballyrobert!
  • Habit: Bushy
  • Foliage: Evergreen
  • Height: 45 to 60 cm  (1.5 - 2 ft)
  • Spread: 45 to 60 cm  (1.5 - 2 ft)
  • Time to full growth: 5 to 10 years
  • Plant type: Herbaceous Perennial, Shrub
  • Colour: Green, Silver, Yellow
  • Goes well with: Paths, front of borders

About this genus:

Artemisia is a large, diverse genus of plants with between 200 and 400 species belonging to the daisy family (Asteraceae). The name ultimately derives from Artemis, the Greek goddess of the moon, wild animals, and hunting. A more specific reference may be to Artemisia I (or II) of Caria – both Queens and successful Naval Strategists! Common names for various species in the genus include mugwort, wormwood, and sagebrush.

Artemisia comprises hardy herbaceous plants and shrubs that grow in temperate climates of both hemispheres, usually in dry or semiarid habitats. The leaves of many species are covered with white hairs.

It has been mentioned in popular culture for centuries. Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort) was used to repel midges (mug = midge), fleas and moths, intestinal worms, and in brewing as a remedy against hangovers and nightmares. Perhaps caused by drinking absinthe… which Artemisia absinthium is used to make!

Most species have an extremely bitter taste, which discourages herbivory, and may have had a selective advantage. In Shakespeare's Hamlet, the titular character says "Wormwood, wormwood" to comment on the bitter implications of what the Player Queen has just said. Wormwood is even mentioned seven times in the Jewish Bible, always with the implication of bitterness! However, the species dracunculus (tarragon) is widely used as a culinary herb. Other species are used to treat malaria and as sedative.

In the garden they tend to prefer full sun and free draining soil, but most we sell should be fine anywhere – we don’t sell much to Greece. Great for foliage and the front of the border. The small wind-pollinated flowers are also fun!

The largest collection of living Artemisia species, subspecies and cultivars is held in the National Collection of Artemisia in Sidmouth, Devon, UK, which holds about 400 taxa.