Friday, April 24, 2009

A Look at Sweet Annie; a prim crafter's best friend!

Several other names for Sweet Annie include Sweet Wormwood, Chinese Fragrant Fern and Artemisia Annua.

Sweet Annie has feathery green foliage and small yellow flowers which bloom Mid Summer, Late Summer/Early Fall. It holds its color very well when dried, and it seems to keep its scent much longer than any other herb.

It’s easily grown from seed. Just sow your seeds after any danger of frost is past. If left to go to seed in the fall, Sweet Annie will pop up in your garden year after year. Some might call this a noxious weed and it can become invasive, but Sweet Annie attracts bees, butterflies and birds. It self-sows freely; so deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season.

This will grow best in a sunny location, but does not need any special soil. Sweet Annie grows up to six feet in height, so be sure to plant near the back of a flower bed. It has average water needs, just water regularly but don’t over water.

To harvest Sweet Annie, just cut the stems off close to the ground.

To dry: Bunch the stems together, tying a group at the base, hang upside down in a dry, dark, open, airy place. To collect seed head/pods when flowers fade; allow seed heads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds.

People with allergies may have trouble working with Sweet Annie. You can spray a little hair spray on the greens before handling or wear gloves. Sweet Annie is also an excellent deer deterrent!

The use of Sweet Annie in medicine dates back to ancient China, where it was used to treat fever. It has been used in connection with Malaria, Fever, Infectious Diarrhea and Intestinal Parasites. Artemisia-based drugs are not readily available in the United States or Europe and are still considered experimental.

Dried or fresh, Sweet Annie is a primitive artists dream to use in wreaths and so many other prim creations!

This article was contributed by Debbie of Barefoot Primitives. Debbie is a master gardener and is a wealth of knowledge to those of us here a wsoapp who love to garden!


Maggie said...

Thanks Deb... very informative. I learned something.... didn't know it was used in medicine.... but did know that people with allergies have a hard time with it. ( my poor husband).... thank goodness I am not allergic. I love sweet annie. The fragrance just says primitive to me!!!

Blessings Maggie =)
Cedar Hill Rustics

robin dudley-howes said...

I love all of this!!