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Dusty Miller Artemisia stelleriana


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Dusty Miller
credit: Jim Kuhn/CCSA

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Alternate name: Oldwoman

Family: Asteraceae, Aster view all from this family

Description Herbaceous perennial.
Habit: spreading, mat-forming, with 1-3 unbranched erect stems; may be faintly aromatic.
Height: 6-28 in (15-70 cm).
Leaf: alternate, wooly, silver-green, narrow and lobed, 1-4 in (3-10 cm) long, 1/2-2 in (1-5 cm) wide.
Flower: pale yellow; held in a dense terminal spike, 3.5-8 in (8-20 cm) tall.

Flower Early spring to fall.

Habitat Naturalized in beach dunes, sandy areas, coastal plains; to 650 ft (200 m).

Range Native to Japan, Kamchatka, and perhaps the Aleutian Islands of Alaska; cultivated as an ornamental; now naturalized in the eastern U.S. from North Carolina to Newfoundland, west to West Virginia, Ohio, Minnesota and Ontario, as well as Washington, Hawaii, Louisiana, Florida.

Discussion Also known as: oldwoman, beach wormwood, beach sagewort. This plant is now well established along the Atlantic Coast, where it is a common, solitary plant on secondary dunes. This plant survives the heat and effects of salt spray partly through its woolly leaves: the dense coating of white hairs not only reflects sunlight, but also provides good insulation.