Tanacetum vulgare

Tanacetum vulgare_common tansy_JM DiTomaso
Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Common names: common tansy; golden buttons; garden tansy

Tanacetum vulgare (common tansy) is a perennial herb (family Asteraceae) found in the Coastal Ranges, Cascade Range and along the north coast of California. Common tansy inhabits riparian areas, forests, and disturbed places, including urban areas, fields, and roadsides. This European native is cultivated as a landscape ornamental and as a medicinal herb. Taken in great quantities, common tansy can be fatally toxic to humans and animals, and some individuals may experience an allergic reaction after handling the foliage. Common tansy reproduces by seed and vegetatively. It is known to produce dense colonies via its extensive creeping root system, especially in riparian areas.

Rating: Moderate

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    Other Resources

    • USDA PLANTS database -
      Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.
    • Jepson Online Interchange for California Flora - Information on taxonomy, biology, and distribution from the UC Berkeley Jepson Herbarium.
    • CalFlora - Distribution information by county based on submitted observations and herbarium specimens.
    • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.

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