Artemisia pontica, the Roman wormwood or small absinthe, is an herb used in the production of absinthe and vermouth. Originating in southeastern Europe (the specific name refers to the Pontus area on the shores of the Black Sea,) it is naturalized over much of Eurasia from France to Xinjiang, and is also found in the wild in northeastern North America.
Artemisia pontica is called "little absinthe" because it is smaller in stature and leaf than the "great absinthe" A. absinthium. It grows as a rhizomatous perennial with erect stems up to 100 centimetres (39 in) tall; the grey foliage is finely divided and aromatic. Flowers are small, yellowish, and appear in loose panicles at stem tips.
The essential oil contains cineol, camphor, thujone, and borneol among other components. It is said to be less bitter than great absinthe and is the principal flavoring of vermouth. It is commercially cultivated in Spain and Lithuania
- Archibald William Smith A Gardener's Handbook of Plant Names: Their Meanings and Origins, p. 280, at Google Books
- Flora of China Vol. 20-21 Page 687 西北蒿 xi bei hao Artemisia pontica Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 847. 1753.
- Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map
- Altervista Flora Italiana, Assenzio del Ponto, Artemisia pontica L. includes photos and European distribution map
- Flora of North America Vol. 19, 20 and 21 Page 531 Roman wormwood, green-ginger, armoise de la mer Noire Artemisia pontica Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 847. 1753.
- Chemistry of Natural Compounds 3-2005, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 178-181 Components of Artemisia pontica. N. A. Talzhanov, D. T. Sadyrbekov, F. M. Smagulova, R. M. Mukanov, V. A. Raldugin, M. M. Shakirov, A. V. Tkachev, G. A. Atazhanova, B. I. Tuleuov, S. M. Adekenov
- Wright, Colin W. (2003). Artemisia. CRC Press. p. 59. ISBN 9780203303061. Retrieved 2014-08-20.
- Botanical Museum, Helsinki, Finland, distribution map for Artemisia pontica in Europe and Algeria