Tanacetum vulgare L.

common tansy

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Common tansy is a Eurasian species widely introduced through cultivation. It was first brought to North America as early as 1631 by a certain John Winthrop Jr., who carried seeds of this and many other plants from Europe. It was cultivated in colonial gardens for its medicinal and embalming properties. By 1785, common tansy was naturalized in New England, and by 1895 it was considered a weed in some places.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields, shores of rivers or lakes

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf type
  • leaves are compound (made up of two or more discrete leaflets)
  • leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaf arrangement
alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
  • the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
  • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
Flower type in flower heads
the flower head has disk flowers only, and lacks the strap-shaped flowers
Ray flower color
NA
Tuft or plume on fruit
there is no plume, or the plume is made up of scales, awns, a crown, or a rim
Spines on plant
the plant has no spines
Leaf blade length
40–200 mm
Disk flower number
more than 50
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Bases of bract appendages
    NA
    Bract color
    the bracts are not colored or tinged with pink, red or purple
    Bract inner side hairs
    the bracts are not hairy on their inner surfaces
    Bract keels
    the bracts do not have keels
    Bract margins
    there are few or no fine hairs along the bract margins
    Bract outer side hair type
    the bracts are not hairy on their outer surface
    Bract outer side hairs
    the bracts are not hairy on their outer surfaces
    Bract shape
    the main bracts are lanceolate (widest above the base, then taper narrowly towards the tip)
    Bract spines
    the bracts have no spines
    Bract tip extension appearance
    NA
    Bract tip extension edge
    there are no projections from the bract tips
    Bract tip orientation
    the bracts are pressed against the plant, or spreading out at the tips
    Bracts
    the bracts in separate cycles are similar or gradually changing from the outer to inner cycles
    Disk flower color
    yellow
    Disk flower lobe number
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    Disk flower number
    more than 50
    Disk flower reproductive parts
    the disk flower has both pollen- and seed-producing parts
    Disk width
    5–10 mm
    Flower head number
    each flowering stem has four or more flower heads on it
    Flower head outer flowers
    at the outer edge of the flower head, the flowers have no enlarged lobe or strap, and are of similar size as those in the center of the disk
    Flower head platform
    the base has no bristles or papery scales
    Flower head platform surface
    NA
    Flower head position
    each of the flower heads is separate on its own peduncle (stalk), not clustered in groups
    Flower head profile
    • the disk is conical across the top
    • the disk is rounded across the top
    Flower type in flower heads
    the flower head has disk flowers only, and lacks the strap-shaped flowers
    Inflorescence branching (Solidago)
    NA
    Inflorescence shape
    the inflorescence is flat-topped in profile
    Inflorescence stem
    the stem of the inflorescence is not hairy
    Ovary attachment
    the ovary is attached at or near the base
    Ovary cross-section
    • the ovary has five or more corners in cross-section
    • the ovary is roughly square or with four corners
    Ovary hair type
    the ovary has no hairs on it
    Ovary hairs
    the ovary has no hairs on it
    Ovary profile
    in profile, the ovary is lance-shaped, but widest above the middle
    Ovary wing number
    • 0
    • NA
    Peduncle hair type
    NA
    Peduncle hairs
    the peduncles have no hairs
    Peduncle orientation
    the flower heads are held upright, or slightly angled outwards
    Ray flower color
    NA
    Ray flower reproductive parts
    NA
    Ray flowers
    0
    Ray length
    0 mm
    Reproductive system
    all the flowers on the plant contain both carpels and stamens
    Rim at top of ovary
    the central flowers have no disk-shaped platform above the ovary
    Scale tip
    NA
    Smaller bracts at base of bracts
    there is no smaller, outer cycle of bracts
    Style branch number
    the style has two branches
    Width of flower head base
    5–10 mm
  • Fruits or seeds
    Number of pappus parts
    1
    Ovary length in developed fruit
    1–2 mm
    Seed hair tuft bases
    NA
    Seed hair tuft color
    NA
    Seed hair tuft details
    NA
    Seed hair tuft length
    0.2–0.4 mm
    Seed hair tuft tips
    NA
    Seed hairs uniform
    NA
    Seed tuft scale number
    0
    Seed tuft type
    the pappus is made of a circle or rim of lobes or teeth on the ovary
    Top of disk flower ovary
    NA
    Tuft or plume on fruit
    there is no plume, or the plume is made up of scales, awns, a crown, or a rim
  • Glands or sap
    Bract resin
    the bracts have no resin or resin glands
    Leaf blade glands
    the leaf blades have glandular (translucent) dots or scales
    Ovary glands
    there are glands on the ovary surface
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant has one or more free-standing stems
    Plant lifespan
    the plant is perennial, it shows evidence of previous year's leaves, stems or stem bases
    Spines on plant
    the plant has no spines
    Underground organs
    the plant has a rhizome (a horizontal underground stem with roots growing from it)
  • Leaves
    Hairs on underside of leaf blade
    • the underside of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    • the underside of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    • the upper side of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    • the upper side of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Leaf arrangement
    alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Leaf blade base
    • the leaf has a distinct petiole
    • the leaf has no petiole
    Leaf blade bloom
    the underside of the leaf has no noticeable bloom
    Leaf blade edges
    • the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
    • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
    Leaf blade flatness
    the leaf is flat (planar) at the edges
    Leaf blade hairs
    NA
    Leaf blade length
    40–200 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is elliptic (widest near the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is oblong (rectangular but with rounded ends)
    • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    Leaf blade surface colors
    there is no noticeable color variation on the upper surface of the leaf
    Leaf blade tip
    the tip of the leaf blade is acute (sharply pointed)
    Leaf blade veins
    the leaf blade has one main vein running from the base towards the tip
    Leaf blade width
    20–100 mm
    Leaf disposition
    the leaves are nearly similar in size, prominence of teeth, and length of stalks throughout the stem
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf stalk
    • the leaves have leaf stalks
    • the leaves have no leaf stalks, but attach directly to the stem
    Leaf stalk length
    At least 0 mm
    Leaf tip extension
    NA
    Leaf tufts in axils
    there are no clusters of smaller leaves
    Leaf type
    • leaves are compound (made up of two or more discrete leaflets)
    • leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaflet number
    0
    Specific leaf type
    the leaf has a row of two or more lobes on each side of the central axis
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
    • shores of rivers or lakes
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    • the plant has a pleasant odor, such as licorice, fruit or resin
    • the plant has an unpleasant or repellant odor
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Flowering stem cross-section
    the flowering stem is circular, or with lots of small angles
    Leaves on stem
    there is at least one full leaf above the base of the flowering stem
    Stem bloom
    there is no powdery or waxy film on the stem
    Stem internode hair direction
    the hairs point mostly upwards to outwards
    Stem internode hair type
    • the hairs on the stem are plain, without glands or branches, and not tangled
    • the stem has no hairs between the nodes
    Stem internode hairs
    • the stem has hairs between the nodes
    • the stem has no hairs between the nodes
    Stem wings
    the stem does not have wings on it

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but occasionally in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACU)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

No

Synonyms

  • Chrysanthemum uliginosum Pers.
  • Chrysanthemum vulgare (L.) Bernh.

Family

Asteraceae

Genus

Tanacetum

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

3.  Tanacetum vulgare L. E

common tansy. Chrysanthemum uliginosum Pers.; C. vulgare (L.) Bernh. • CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Fields, roadsides, open river shores, disturbed soil.