common tansy
Tanacetum vulgare L.

pictures by: Jiasuey and Allaire, Wellestey College.

Weed ID   Photos1    Photos 2

Chemical Control   Cultural Control   [No Bio-Control]   Line Drawing

Description: A mature common tansy plant has a yellow flower, without petals, that is about 1/2 inch in diameter and is flat on the top.  (1)  The common tansy is a toxic plant.  It doesn't often cause death, but in large amounts, and long-term consumption, it can.  (2)

Growth Habit: When full grown, a common tansy plant can reach to about 6 ft. in height.  (1)

Leaves:  The leaves of the common tansy have no stalk.  (1)

Stems: The stem of the mature common tansy plant is a reddish - purple color.  It is mostly hairless with the branching clustering more towards the top portion of the stem.  These usually grow in clusters that can reach to about 6 ft. high.  (1)  The stem of the plant is one of the two dangerous parts to this weed.  (2)

Flower: The flowers are yellow, flat, round, and have no petals.  They are about 1/2 inch in diameter.  (1)

Roots: Most of the roots of the common tansy are near the surface of the ground.  Common tansy will re-grow from root fragments that have broken off.  (3)

Reproduction: The seeds of the plant are the most common way that the common tansy is spread.  They can also spread through creeping rhizomes, but that is less common.  (1)

Other Common Names: Golden buttons and garden tansy.  (1)

Habitat and Range: The common tansy will usually grow in waste areas, roadsides, and meadows.  It have spread through the entire United States.  (5)

Chemical: metsulfuron, glyphosate, 2,4-D amine, mowing during the bud stage, or hand pulling and disposing.  (1)  Check with your County Weed Coordinator or Extension Agent for updated information.  Always read the label on all herbicides.


1), Tansy, Common, by Ron LeCain
2), CommonTansy
3), Tanacetum vulgare--Common Tansy, by Thomas J. Elpel
4), Tansy, Common, by Niki Zhou

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By: Jason Grace 1/15/01     -     Updated By: Shawna Fisher 2/05.   -   Updated by: Lizzie and Markie, 3/09.