Native to Oregon and much of North America, western mugwort is a rhizomatous perennial with beautiful gray-green foliage composed of long, strap-like leaves. Its yellow-white flowers bloom in summer. Much less agressive than the european mugwort (A. vulgaris), this plant prefers very well-drained soil and full sun. It has medicinal properties similar to other mugwort species.
Mugwort belongs to the genus Artemisia, named after the Greek goddess Artemis - the goddess of the moon, the hunt, wild animals, and childbirth. At the same time that mugwort is a cooling, anti-inflammatory, and bitter herb, it is also used to invoke Artemis and all she represents. While mystical herbalists know that mugwort brings vivid dreams to those who drink the tea or keep a bundle under their pillow, modern scientists have also confirmed that it interrupts deep sleep in favor of REM sleep in which dreams are made.