Artemisia absinthium is a herbaceous perennial plant with fibrous roots. The stems are straight, growing to 0.8–1.2 metres (2 ft 7 in–3 ft 11 in) (sometimes even over 1.5 m, but rarely) tall, grooved, branched, and silvery-green. Leaves are spirally arranged, greenish-grey colored above, white below, covered with silky silvery-white trichomes, and bearing minute oil-producing glands. The basal leaves are up to 250 mm (9.8 in) long, bipinnate to tripinnate with long petioles, with the cauline leaves (those on the stem) smaller, 50–100 mm (2.0–3.9 in) long, less divided, and with short petioles. The uppermost leaves can be both simple and sessile (without a petiole). Flowers are pale yellow, tubular, and clustered in spherical bent-down heads (capitula), which are in turn clustered in leafy and branched panicles. Flowering is from early summer to early autumn; pollination is anemophilous. The fruit is a small achene. Seed dispersal occurs by gravity.