Jun. 19, 2022

tansy, Tanacetum vulgare

Tansies now grow through most of the temperate regions. They started in Eurasia, and sort of followed our noses as human Eurasians spread around the globe. The scent of the whole plant is pleasant, like chrysanthemums, and quite strong and persistent. So persistent that tansy was included in coffins in olden days in the hope that it would keep subterrenean critters away. When such burials are now occasionally exumed, the aroma persists. Tansy was long used by the living as insect repellant. It is toxic to most things, but has limited if any real value in keeping bugs away. Despite the toxicity, some cultures used these plants for flavoring or food, but those practices somehow died out. Like so many aromatic plants, there were many medicinal uses born more from hope than logic. Tansy has been introduced in all states and provinces except AL, FL, GA, SC, TX, and LB, and is on SPM. Lenawee Co MI, 7/31/10. Aster family, Asteraceae.