Tanacetum vulgare


Tansy is an aromatic plant of disturbed ground, rough grasslands, riverbanks and roadside verges. It has fern-like foliage and yellow flower heads that appear in clusters from July to October. It has a long history of use for medicinal purposes and was cultivated by the ancient Greeks. Now, many forms are available as decorative garden varieties.

How to identify

The leaves of Tansy alternate up the length of the reddish stem. Each leaf is divided into many leaflets which are finely toothed, giving them a fern-like appearance. The yellow flower heads (consisting of lots of tiny flowers) look like small, rounded buttons and cluster together.

Where to find it

Widespread in most of the UK, but less common in the north of Scotland.


When to find it

  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October

How can people help

Although they sometimes don't look especially wildlife-friendly, our roadside verges and waste grounds can provide valuable habitats for all kinds of plants and animals. The Wildlife Trusts get involved in different projects to help make these places as beneficial for wildlife as possible. We have a vision of a 'Living Landscape': a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country, which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Tanacetum vulgare
Height: up to 75cm
Conservation status