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Tanacetum vulgare L.

Figure 107.—Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
Other common names.—Tanacetum, bitter buttons, ginger plant, parsley fern, scented fern, English cost, hindheal.

Habitat and range.—This is a garden plant introduced from Europe and now escaped from cultivation, occurring as a weed along waysides and fences from New England to Minnesota and southward to North Carolina and Missouri

Description.—Tansy is a strong-scented herb with finely divided, fernlike leaves and yellow, buttonlike flowers. It has a stout, somewhat reddish, erect stem, usually smooth, 1 1/2 to 3 feet high, and branching near the top. The entire leaf is about 6 inches long and is divided almost to the center into about seven pairs of segments or lobes which are again divided into smaller lobes having saw-toothed edges, thus giving the leaf a somewhat fernlike appearance. The roundish, flat-topped, buttonlike , yellow flower heads are produced in terminal clusters from about July to September. The plant contains a volatile oil which is poisonous.

Part used.—The leaves and flowering tops, for which there is a reasonably constant demand, collected at the time of flowering. The volatile oil is distilled from the plant on a commercial scale in Michigan and Indiana.*

*Information on the extraction of volatile oils from plants is contained in the following publication: Sievers, A.F. Methods of extracting volatile oils from plant material and the production of such oils in the United States. U.S. Dept. Agr. Tech. Bul. 16, 36 p. illus. 1928.

Sievers, A.F. 1930. The Herb Hunters Guide. Misc. Publ. No. 77. USDA, Washington DC.
Last update Friday, April 3, 1998 by aw