Common Tansy

Tanacetum vulgare 'Gold Sticks' Asteraceae

Other names


Growth habit



Long-lived polycarpic perennial

Biocultural value

In A Girl of the Limberlost, 19th century American writer Gene Stratton Porter wrote, "Later she went out beside the west fence and gathered an armful of tansy which she boiled into a thick green tea."


Robison Herb Garden

Source of plant



One of the many beneficial uses of this aromatic herb is as a cut flower, and Goldsticks tansy is the best variety for that purpose, with larger flowers, longer stem lengths and longer flowering time. Brilliant long lasting gold blooms decorate this dark green, fern-like plant, which shares all of its parent’s best qualities while being somewhat less likely to spread itself around the garden. Tansy leaves produce an oil called thujone that smells of resin and balsam, making the whole plant smell strongly. Because of the potent qualities of the oil, it is recommended to use caution when handling or eating it. It is a natural insect repellent, useful in the home against ants and cockroaches, and in container gardens on patios against mosquitoes. Its ability to repel borers makes it a good companion plant in the garden for roses and cane fruits. Both leaves and flowers can be used to produce a yellow-green dye.

USDA Hardiness Zone