This is common mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) growing vigorously in the gateway at Puddle Corner between Sleepers Field and Cornfield.

Mugwort is a widespread member of the aster family, a species of waste places and roadside verges. Despite its size (it can grow to a metre and a half!), it’s another of those plants that most people don’t notice if they aren’t actually looking for it. Those who do look for it know that it is edible, has been used in traditional medicine for millennia, and can be used to induce lucid dreams.

Header Image: mugwort by Ian Bushell (01.07.21 SCP-NR); other images CC0 (no rights reserved).

Like all plant species with a long history of culinary and medicinal use, mugwort has a plethora of common names: riverside wormwood, felon herb, chrysanthemum weed, wild wormwood, old Uncle Henry, sailor’s tobacco, St. John’s plant (not to be confused with St John’s wort), naughty man, or old man.

Next time you walk from Cornfield into Sleepers, look to your right and pause a while to admire the mugwort.

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