web absinthe wormwood shutterstock copyAbsinthe wormwood, a weed known for its strong unpleasant odor and silvery-grey foliage, has been designated a “noxious weed” in Flagstaff County.

County Council approved the elevation of absinthe wormwood’s status (Bylaw 09/16) at a regular meeting in March under guidelines set out by Alberta’s Weed Control Act and Weed Control Regulation.

Over the past five years, there has been a marked increase in the number of infestations of absinthe wormwood throughout the region. Realizing the potential threat this weed may pose to landowners, Flagstaff County deemed it essential to designate absinthe wormwood as a noxious weed.

Also known by its scientific name Artemisia absinthium, the semi-woody, clump-forming perennial is notorious for producing profuse amounts of seed that remain viable for up to four years and take hold mainly in pastures and along fencelines. Absinthe wormwood can grow from two to five feet in height in a variety of soils. Experts also warn about its persistent tap root, which can reach two inches in diameter.

The shrub-like perennial, sometimes mistaken for pasture sage, joins white cockle, scentless chamomile, toadflax and leafy spurge on the list of designated noxious weeds Flagstaff County deems a priority to manage.

The County offers an incentive program to landowners to help control these weeds. For more information, call the County office at 780-384-4100.