Absinth wormwood or wormwood sage

Farm Forum

Around the country side this spring I have seen more Wormwood Sage. Noxious weed reports show that it is on the increase. That silver color makes it stand out more and it is easy to spot if you are looking for it.

Wormwood Sage is a local noxious weed in most eastern South Dakota counties. Infestations are limited to pasture and grass areas, but with no-till farming it is a weed that has spread out of grass areas into crop ground.

Total acreage of Wormwood Sage has been small in the past; however, over the last few years Wormwood Safe has increased significantly.

Small patches can easily be controlled with 2,4-D at a two-quart rate before the sage gets a 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.

For those who do not know what Wormwood Sage looks like, it’s 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 2 to 5 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. If you need more information on this weed stop by your Regional Extension Office. Fact Sheet 525-N and extension Extra 8087 will give you more information on this weed.