Tansy

Tanacetum vulgar? syn. Chrysanthemum vulgore Asteraceae

A bitter herb included in liqueurs, in medieval times tansy was eaten in dishes as a penance at Kaslertide. The name is derived from the Greek word for "immortality.'" reflecting the fact that tansy stays in flower for a long period. The plant produces a yellow dye.

Other common name Golden buttons Parts used Aerial parts

Costmary once had the common name or bible leaf, in reference to its use as a Bible bookmark — its mintlike scent was perfect for reviving Ihe fainthearted during Interminable Sunday sermons. The word tanacetum is from alhanasia. Greek for "immortality." and in ancient Greece, corpses were packed with tansy leaves to preserve them and ward off insects until burial took place.

Tansy ( Tanacetum vulgareI

Plant tansy with potato crops to deter the highly destructive Colorado beetle.

Tansy ( Tanacetum vulgareI

A very hardy rhizomatous perennial herb, tansy grows to about 4 ft. (1.2 m), with pinnate leaves, which typically have a camphor scent. There are a number of chemotypes, with the scent of rosemary, artemisia, chrysanthemum or eucalyptus. Tansy bears flat-topped ornamental inflorescences of golden button flowers that dry well.

Crisp-leafed or fern-leafed or curly tansy is a more compact ornamental form with ferny leaves. Costmary or alecost or bible leaf (T bolsamita) is a rhizomatous perennial with clusters of white daisy flowers and silvery green, sweetly mint-scented leaves.

Camphor plant (T balsamita subsp. tomentosum) has camphor-scented foliage and is used in moth-repellent herb mixtures. T. cinerariifolium syn. Pyrethrum cinerariifolium is an aromatic, white daisy-flowered perennial, the source of Dalmatian insect powder. The pink-flowered T. coccineum is the source of the less-effective Persian insect powder.

• Varieties 'Silver Lace' is a variegated variety of T. vulgare.

• Position All Tanacetum species listed prefer a well-drained, sunny position.

• Propagation Propagate the species and its varieties by seed, root division in spring or semi-ripe tip cuttings in summer.

• Maintenance Tansy can become invasive, so in garden beds take care to keep the rhizomes under control.

• Pests and diseases There are none of significance.

• Harvesting and storing Harvest tansy foliage during flowering for drying or oil extraction. Harvest the leaves of costmary and camphor plant as required, and the flowers of pyrethrum when they open, then dry and grind them.

Herbal medicine

Tanacetum vulgore. Parts used: aerial parts. Tansy was once used as a short-term remedy for the treatment of worm infestations of the gut. Today this herb is no longer used medicinally, because we now know that thujone, a component of the essential oil of the plant, is associated with significant toxic effects.

Thujone also has a strongly stimulating effect on the uterus and can have serious negative side effects in pregnant women or those attempting to become pregnant.

Do not use tansy or its essential oil, and take extra care with this plant if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

A natural insect repellent, tansy can be grown outside in pots around outdoor entertaining areas to deter flies and mosquitoes. Indoors, use dried tansy to deter ants, clothes moths or fleas in your pet's bedding. A strong tansy tea can be spritzed over the carpet to keep flea populations under control, but do not spray it directly onto your pet or its bedding. Also, do not use it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Plant tansy with potato crops to deter the highly destructive Colorado beetle.

Tarragon

Artemisia dracunculus, A. draeunculoides Asteraceae

Dracunculus is Latin for "little dragon," and once tarragon was reputed to cure the bites of not only diminutive dragons but also all serpents. Today its unique, delicious and pitiuanl flavor is indispensable to the classic cuisine of France.

Part used Leaves

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