Wormwood (Artemisia; Ukrainian: polyn). Perennial or annual plants of the Compositae family, also known as absinthe. In Ukraine there are 23 species, some cultivated for medicinal purposes (see Medicinal plants), some used decoratively, and some growing as weeds. Mountain wormwood (A. absinthium) grows wild and is used to improve appetite and stimulate the digestive system. Crimean wormwood (A. taurica; Ukrainian: polynok, yevshan) is found along the coast of Crimea. Also found in Ukraine are A. pseudofragrans, A. boschniakiana, and tarragon (A. dracunculus), which in its cultivated form contains essential oil, and the leaves and stems of which are used for pickling. Annual wormwood (A. annua) grows wild and is cultivated for its fragrance. In Ukrainian folk tradition the fragrance of the wormwood (yevshan-zillia) produces nostalgia for the native land.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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