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Absinth Wormwood or Wormwood Sage

30 May 2013

US - More Wormwood Sage has been showing up around the countryside this spring. Noxious weed reports show that it is on the increase. The silver colour makes it stand out and easy to spot, writes Paul Johnson, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist.

Wormwood Sage is a local noxious weed in most eastern South Dakota counties. Infestations are limited to pasture and grass areas. However, no-till farming has contributed to it spreading into crop ground.

Small patches can easily be controlled with 2,4-D at a two-quart rate before the sage gets one foot tall. Old stands and weeds over one foot tall are harder to control. For large plants or old stands, 1 pint Tordon® and 1 quart 2,4-D are recommended.

Photo Courtesy of South Dakota State University

Wormwood Sage is a perennial that reproduces by seed and is found in pastures, meadows, roadsides and in no-till areas. It develops more quickly in over-grazed pastures or areas where the ground has had the grass damaged. The sage is gray-green in color with hairy stems.

Leaves are two to five inches long with leaf structures that look like common ragweed. The plant is considered an escaped ornamental and has a strong sage odor. The color and distinctive sage aroma are strong signs of this weed and make it easy to identify.

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