Feverfew

Tanacetum parthenium

Photo/Illustration: 
Michelle Gervais
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Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)
tan-ah-SEE-tum par-THEN-ee-um
Genus:  Tanacetum

Feverfew is a short-lived, bushy perennial that has become naturalized in much of North America. It has fragrant, ferny foliage and composite white flowers with yellow centers. It is often grown as an annual. The cultivar 'Aureum' has a dwarf habit, smaller flowers, and golden aromatic foliage. Other cultivars have double flowers, yellow flowerheads, or pompom-like flowerheads.

Noteworthy Characteristics:  Daisy-like flowers appear over a long period in summer. Feverfew has been used to treat toothache, arthritis, headaches, and (obviously) fever. Contact with the foliage may aggravate skin allergies.
Care:  Will tolerate most any soil except wet and heavy, but prefers well-drained, sandy soil in full sun.
Propagation:  Sow seed at 50-55°F in late winter or early spring. Divide plants or root basal cuttings in spring. Insert softwood cuttings in early summer. Self-seeds prolifically.
Problems:  Aphids, chrysanthemum nematode, leaf miners.

Overview

Height
1 ft. to 3 ft.
Spread
1 ft. to 3 ft.
Growth Pace
Moderate Grower
Light
Full Sun Only
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Moderate
Characteristics
Fragrant Flowers,
Fragrant Foliage,
Showy Foliage
Bloom Time
Summer
Flower Color
White Flower,
Yellow Flower
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Herb Garden,
Suitable as Annual
Style
Cottage Garden
Seasonal Interest
Summer Interest
Type
Perennials

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