Common Tansy

Common Tansy

Fact Sheet


Latin Name: Tanacetum vulgare

Origin:  Europe

Physical Description: It is a perennial forb that can grow up to 1.5m tall. The stems are purplish-red and have glands which give them a dotted appearance. The leaves are alternate on the stem and are deeply divided with toothed edges, giving them a fern-like appearance. Yellow button-like flowers form flat-topped clusters at the tops of the stems.

Habitat: It prefers sunny areas with fertile and well-drained soils. It is often found growing in gardens and disturbed areas such as roadsides, fields, fence row, forest clearings, and stream banks.

Impacts: It can outcompete and displace native plants, reducing natural biodiversity and available forage for wildlife and livestock.  It contains toxic alkaloids and can be toxic to both humans and livestock if consumed in large quantities. Poisoning is rare as it is unpalatable to most grazing animals.

Reproduction: It reproduces primarily by seed, but can also spread by creeping roots. Each plant can produce over 2,000 seeds.

Management Options

Mechanical:  Hand pulling small infestations is feasible, particularly when the soil is moist. Ensure as much of the root system is removed as possible. Repeated stem removal depletes food energy stored in the roots. Mowing prior to seed can be effective in limiting seed dispersal but must be repeated to eliminate growth from the rootstalk. Gloves and other protective clothing should be worn when handling the plant, to prevent skin irritation.

Chemical: Several herbicides with the following active ingredients can control Common tansy: 2,-4-D, Aminocyclopyrachlor + Chlorsulfuron, Aminopyrallid+ Metsulfuron, Glyphosate, Chlorsulfuron, and Metsulfuron.  For available products, contact your local agri-supply store. Prior to any herbicide application, read and follow the label instructions.

Biological: None available.

Additional Resources:

Invasive Species Council of BC Common Tansy Factsheet

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