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The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > Absinthe & Absinthiana > Absinthe History
Absinthe in this case meaning wormwood, not liquor.
There has been speculation that the wormwood of yesteryear might never be seen again, but two recent posts at the French forum give hope:

Il y a quelques années, un habitant de Boveresse, Val-de-Travers, là où se trouvaient les cultures d'absinthe, monte au galetas de sa maison, constate que des plants d'absinthe sont encore accrochées à la poutraison pour séchage depuis... 1910, jette tout cela sur le compost et au printemps suivant, les graines germent et les plants donnent de la bonne absinthe très parfumée.

Some years ago, a inhabitant of Boveresse, Val de Travers, where you see the wormwood fields, went to the top of his house, and noticed wormwood plants still hanging from the joists since ... 1910, and threw it all onto the compost pile and the following spring, the seeds germinated and yielded fine wormwood very fragrant ...

Apparently this was in 2005, because there is a reference to "95 years later". The post appeared in November.

Today there was this:
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Absynthe du Château de Polignac.
Petit sainfoin trouvé suivant les Chemins voisins.
2 septembre 1839.

Little sainfoin found along the local roads
September 2, 1839

Sainfoin is a legume (literally holy hay), good cattle feed. I'm trying to find out why that word was used. But it seems to be 176-year-old wormwood:

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Holy Moses!
Great googly moogly! chickawow.gif
Marc claims there is a smidgeon of luzerne (alfalfa) in the packet, and that's the reason for the word "sainfoin".
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This is sainfoin. Alfalfa isn't the same plant, at least not in the U.S. Sainfoin is considered to be even better for cattle forage. The plants are similar in appearance.

Here is the chateau and the "neighborhood roads" cited by the wanderer who saved the plants.
Note the reference to wormwood.

It does look like wormwood leaves in the packet, though. And it has the nice fat blossoms you see in the old drawings.
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Marc's analysis of the photo. The "not wormwood" flowers do look like sainfoin or alfalfa flowers.
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An interesting find.
I guess we can only wonder who took those samples and why.
My guess as to the why is that a "naturalist" collected the plants. Lots of people in those days would collect plants, bird nests or eggs, etc. to study them or draw them.
A popular meme of the day was a man with a butterfly net.
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QUOTE(Artemis @ Jan 26 2015, 06:34 AM) *

My guess as to the why is that a "naturalist" collected the plants. Lots of people in those days would collect plants, bird nests or eggs, etc. to study them or draw them.

'xactly. The man was having a little walk and collected the wormwood at one place and the sainfoin at another place, for his own collection of herbs. As you said, it was very common practice back then.
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