tansy – tanacetum vulgare

22 Sep

Also sometimes called Mugwort — an unfortunate nickname for such a pretty plant — tansy is alternately considered a flower or an herb, depending which gardener you ask. New leaves emerge yellowish green and are divided into multiple lobes, giving them a fern-like appearance. If grown in full sun, the plant produces very small flowers (about the size of a shirt button). Tansy has a long history of use as an herbal remedy, with usage dating back to the eighth century, as a flavoring, and even as part of skin cleansing regimen. Ironically, when taken in large doses both leaves and flowers are toxic. Tansy also is used as a natural insect deterrent, as it is toxic to most insects, and is sometimes planted near peonies to discourage the small ants that often plague those plants. Particularly in full sun, Tansy has a tendency to spread rapidly; this particular plant has nearly tripled in size this year although its size stayed fairly constant in its old location where it got sun only a few hours a day.


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