Many species are prized as ornamental plants for their eye-catching silvery-gray leaves, often used in flower gardens to create contrast or soften the transition between rich colors. Common species are sagebush, tarragon, mugwort, and wormwood.
They are native to the mountainous or alpine regions of the Arctic to arid deserts of Asia and South Africa. The members of the genus vary from tall shrubs to dwarf herb plants. They are usually perennial and often aromatic.
All have alternate leaves, tubular yellow flowers, and small flower heads, which appear as hanging, racemose, paniculate, or capitate inflorescences, rarely individually. The fern-like foliage of numerous species is clad with white hairs.