Tansy Tanacetum vulgare

Tanacetum vulgare grows perennially, is closely related to the Chrysanthemums and is called tansy or common tansy. Other popular names are cow bitter and golden buttons.


In Central Europe, the flowering period lasts from July to September. Tansy spreads by runners and seeds and grows over a metre high in locations with nutrient-rich soil.

Tansy at a roadside
Tansy at a roadside.

The natural distribution area includes most European countries and in Asia reaches as far as China and Japan. In North America and some states in South America, tansy is said to be naturalised (source).

Tansy in a meadow
Tansy in a meadow.

Tanacetum vulgare can be found in meadows, on embankments, on banks and roadsides. It grows best in sunny places with slightly loamy to humusy soil.

Tanacetum vulgare
Tanacetum vulgare in the very dry summer of 2022.


Tansy is used as an ornamental plant, medicinal plant, fragrance plant and dye plant. Contact with the leaves can cause allergies, they contain essential oils.

flowering Tansy