ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Gardener's Kitchen: Tansy

Updated on June 7, 2013

natural dying

I included the link in this hub to provide you with an historical look at tansy, not and I repeat not, for the medicinal uses it metnions.

Tansy has been used as an insect repellant and if you happen upon some you may want to gather the leaves. You can tie them together and hang them up some claim this will keep some bugs away. In addition, the dried leaves have been used to control ants. You sprinkle the dried leaves in aeas to act as an ant barrier.

The positive side to the tansy tale is that the yellow flowers are used to produce a natural yellow dye.

Tansy is a plant that does not need human attention to grow. It can be wildcrafted and while you must always pick plants in the wild with care, picking only a few, you can sretch this rule some when it comes to tansy. If you live near a livestock rancher you may be able to get picking rights for free.


courtesy; Carl E. Lewis/ flickr
courtesy; Carl E. Lewis/ flickr


Common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare L.) also know as golden buttons or parslet fern is a perennial whihc has flowers that look like small yellow buttons grouped together in flat-topped clusters. There can be 20 - 200 flower heads per plant.

Tansy leaves are deeply divided into toothed segments that are dotted with small glands. It is an aromatic plant with somewhat woody stems forming dense patches. Clumps of tansy can grow as tall as 1.5 - 2 metres.

Tansy traces its origins back to Europe which is often found in non-crop areas, roadsides, low areas and on stream banks.

It is very proflific and can rapidly take over pastures where competition by desired species is reduced, for example, an overgrazed pasture situation. T has been reported to be toxic to livestock.

Tansy seeds have been known to remain viable in the soil for up to 25 years, and tilling alone can bring the seeds to the surface in a heavily infested area.

This is an attractive but dangerous plant that does not belong in your garden but it grows so well, a trip in the country or even around town can yeiled you a good crop.

Now, you are naturally asking why would I bother to pick tansy. Good question. Tansy is not recommended as a healing herb. It is possible this plant has some medicinal propertis, however, when used in large doses it can cause violent reactions and seizures.

So what is it used for, well it does attract bees and ladybugs, so you could plant it in conatiners but a sungle tansy plant prodcues many seeds and some are going to escape. Besides there are many other plants that serve the same function.


Submit a Comment
  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Creating a food forest is a great way to renew an orchard, even a small one. Thanks for dropping by.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Tansy is a survivor. Thanks for dropping by.

  • profile image

    Nolimits Nana 

    9 years ago

    I made the mistake of gathering some tansy seedheads a few years ago, because I liked the flowers. I now have it growing everywhere! Be careful in planting it, it definitely will spread - not just the seed, but by roots.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    I have just put Tansy on my list to companion plant in my orchard underneath my peach and nectarine trees. I'm attempting to renovate a small (20 trees) neglected orchard and turn it into a bit more of a food forest with layers of trees, shrubs, bushes, groundcovers and herbs - Permaculture style. Thanks for the tip about putting it into a pot rather than in the ground! Great Hub, thanks Bob as always I learn something from you.

  • RKHenry profile image


    9 years ago from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA

    You sure know your stuff.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)