Sunday, August 21, 2016

For the Love of Tansy.....

I was never a huge lover of yellow flowers.

Perhaps it was because they conjured less-than-fond memories of pulling golden rod and yellow rocket from the fields as a child....a chore I dreaded almost as much as picking stones.
And then, of course, there is the ubiquitous dandelion.

But then I met tansy....and I was smitten.


If its name weren't endearing enough, its camphoric aroma and rich history and lore will lure even the most unsuspecting into its circle of admirers.


Tansy has been used to treat intestinal worms, rheumatism, digestive problems, fevers, sores, and to "bring out" measles. 


It also has astringent qualities and, therefore, makes a refreshing face wash that lightens and purifies the skin.

 

Tansy is perhaps best known for its natural repellent tendencies.  In years gone by, it was packed into coffins and wrapped in funeral winding sheets to....well...you know....  Oftentimes tansy was woven into wreaths to place on deceased loved ones.


{NOTE:  COMMON tansy (to which I am referring) should NOT be confused with tansy RAGWORT.... Although very similar both in flowers and foliage to common tansy, tansy ragwort is POISONOUS.... It is generally unpalatable to livestock, but often cannot be avoided if it is mixed with hay, silage or lush pasture grasses.  It is especially toxic to cattle and horses, causing a chronic liver disease that is irreversible.  While I am not an expert, the best way I know of distinguishing between the two is that common tansy (the good stuff) has round button flowers like above, whereas tansy ragwort's flowers have spiky petals as in the photo below.}


So, long story short, that lil' yellow flower has stolen my heart....and come tansy season, you will find it fresh filling jars and tins and pitchers at my house, drying on racks and rods in every cool, dark, space I can find, and, yes, blooming happily in my yard.


18 comments:

Rugs and Pugs said...

Thanks for the tansy education!
Hugs :)
Lauren

marly said...

Never had the pleasure of tansy sniffing. It's very nice looking. Kind of like yarrow gone ballistic.

Dicky Bird said...

Thanks for the information about Tansy. I have made wreaths of them over the years. This post makes me want to go roadside pickin

The Civil War Quilter said...

You taught me something. I was given a start of Tansy once, but now I know it was the poisonous kind! I sure wasn't warned about that. The button bloom type looks more appealing anyway.

Farmhouse prims said...

So good to see you blogging!! I sure missed your posts. Loved all the information about tansy. Hugs, Lecia

Prims By The Water said...

So loved reading the history of this very useful flower. I too did not like yellow flowers before, but have grown to love yarrow now and will see if I can get my hands on some tansy. TFS Janice

Primitive Stars said...

Morning Sweet Friend, love reading this info on Tansy, much I did not know. I also love it and grow it in my gardens, such a magical flower. Will dry some out too, never tried before. Have a great week, Hugs Francine.

Me and My Stitches said...

I've not heard of Tansy (the good OR the bad!) before, but it is really lovely. I wonder if it grows in my neck of the woods?

Vicki Jo said...

I loved your tansy lesson! So pretty! Thanks for sharing this -- now I have to go find some tansy.

Lorene Frischknecht said...

I have seen common tansy along the roads I travel frequently. I've always admired the compact round button-like flower heads! They remind me of little suns!

Farm Girl said...

Thank you so much for reminding me of Tansy. You are so right about its lovely smell.
Thank you so much. I hope you are having a wonderful day.

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

Am so happy you have made piece with yellow flowers! Tansy is a wonderful plant and yarrow dries beautifully. Yellow day lilies are Iris are also quiet lovely

frontporchprims said...

Beautiful. I've never heard of Tansy before, but I want some now!

The Rusty Thimble said...

Oh I wish you were here :) This lake we live at has tons of this stuff growing we live close to the corp land where there are no camp grounds, we drive down there to fish where there are never a bunch of people. I am often wondering if it is the bad stuff or the good. so often wanting to gather some to dry. I may have to take a picture of it and see if you can shed some light on it for me

Julie - My Primitive Heart said...

Hi Robin,
I actually planted some yarrow years ago and loved to dry it! I was especially happy as I don't have a green thumb to speak of but could grow perennials! I have seen the good tansy but did not know there was a bad kind! So happy to know the difference and just love those little button tops!! Wish I had some around here as it would be perfect for adding to little dolly pockets!!!
Hope you enjoy your weekend, my friend!!
Heart Hugs~
Julie

Unknown said...

Tansy & Yarrow are my favorite to hang from a peg rack or tuck into a basket and I
even have a wreath made from yarrow.
Marcia higglersnotch.com

JennTeacher said...

Such wonderful pictures!

Raymond Homestead said...

A friend gave me some one time to transplant but it didn't grow. Would love to have some now. Thank you for sharing about it. Glad to know the difference between the two kind.