The Puzzle That Is Tansy

Have you heard of Tansy? It’s a pretty perennial herb that grows about three feet tall and is often seen along roadsides. I have it growing in my backyard, thanks to a neighbor who has generously gifted me plants from her garden over the years.

I really like Tansy – but it is full of contradictions. In some of my books, I read that the leaves can be used to make tea or to flavor cooking. It is thought to be effective in fighting intestinal worms and joint pain and to even the complexion. Other sources say the leaves are bitter and toxic. But, the most puzzling thing to me is the assertion that tansy is a good insect repellent. People used to wrap food in its leaves to keep insects away, or to bury people in coffins filled with the stuff. It’s also recommended as a companion plant for certain crops, including potatoes. My tansy, however, does not appear to repel any insects. In fact, it seems to do just the opposite.

See what I mean? I’m not sure what to think. Perhaps it becomes loathsome to insects only at certain times. Or, maybe only certain insects are repelled by it. I’ll have to keep my eye on the Tansy to see what develops. Plants are so interesting, don’t you think?

From the dining room table, hoping to get some weeding done today,

Mrs. Smythe

2 Comments on “The Puzzle That Is Tansy

  1. I have tansy also, but mine isn’t blooming yet. I love the lacy leaves!