Tanacetum vulgare   Tansy CC DD N

Tanacetum vulgare

This is a tall plant of the verges, waste places and hedgerows. It flowers in mid summer and has to compete with some tall vegetation which it can do easily growing normally to a metre or more in height. The small yellow button flowers with the delicately cut leaves are both shown in the photo. It is an aromatic plant and was put to a wide variety of uses: in Ireland they made Drisheen, a sausage from tansy flavouring, sheep's blood and milk. In Scotland, Highland people laid it in the corn to keep the mice away and it has been used to keep bluebottles off meat. It was so highly valued, probably as a herb which prevented miscarriages, that settlers brought it with them to New England where it has spread throughout the Eastern States.

Tanacetum vulgare is a native which is widespread in the British Isles but surprisingly not quite as common as the Balkan introduction: Tanacetum parthenium (Feverfew). Tanacetum vulgare is very common in England and Wales and fairly common throughout Ireland. In Scotland it is easily found in the south but less common in the north yet is quite common on Orkney, Shetland and the outer Hebrides.

Frodsham Marshes, 4th October 2004

Added on November 30th 2004, amended 5th February 2005, updated 13th February 2012

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict