Tanacetum vulgare L.

3160 (1). T. vulgare L., Sp. Pl.. ed. 1 (1753) 844; DC., Prodr. 6 (1838) 128; Hayek, Prodr. Fl. Penins. Balc. 2 (1931) 652; Grierson, Fl. Turkey 5 (1975) 285; Heywood, Fl. Eur. 4 (1976) 170; Chrysanthemum vulgare (L.) Bernh., Syst. Verz. Erfurt (1800) 144; Стоян., Стеф., Фл. Бълг. изд. 1, 2 (1925) 1134; Pyrethrum vulgare (L.) Boiss., Fl. Or. 3 (1875) 352; Exs.: Pl. Bulg. Exsicc. № 197 - Обикновена вратига

Fam:   Asteraceae (Compositae)
Genus:   Tanacetum L.
Species: Tanacetum vulgare L.
English Name: Tansy, Bitter buttons, Cow bitter, or Golden buttons


Perennial plant. Rhizome creeping, relatively thin, branched, with numerous thin roots. Stems numerous or few, rarely single, erect, branched at the top or just below the top, (30) 60 - 120 (150) cm tall, dense, cylindrical, green, longitudinally red ribbed, with short simple (sometimes bipartite) and sessile glandular hairs. Basal leaves pinnate, fast dying; stems 5 - 15 (20) cm long and 5 - 8 (10) cm wide, feathery divided; shares linearly lance to oblong-elliptic or ovoid-lance, sharply toothed to entire, pointed, with short simple hairs and sat down spots of glands; lower and middle leaves on petioles, upper almost sessile. Baskets hemispherical, with a lot of flowers, 5 - 10 mm in diameter, (5) 10 - 70 (100) on long ridged short fibrous uneven petioles, forming apical and lateral complex thyroid inflorescences. Wrapping leaves herbaceous, green, erect when ripe; outer linear lance, 1.8 - 2 mm long and 1 mm wide, brown at the end, with a narrow transparent light membranous end edge; inner elliptical lance, 3.5 - 4 mm long and 1 mm wide, at the end with a wide transparent light membraneous edge. The outermost row of flowers up to 20 small, inconspicuous up to 1.5 mm long, shorter than the leaflets, female, yellow, tubular, irregularly 3-toothed, rarely with a short tongue or regular, 5-toothed at the tip; inner numerous tubular, bisexual, regular, up to 2 mm long, 5-toothed at the apex, yellow, equal to barely longer than the sheath leaflets. Fruit seeds ovoid or wedge-shaped prismatic, truncated at the apex and at the base, 1.2 - 1.8 mm long and 0.4 - 0.6 mm thick, golden brown, with 5 protruding light ribs, smooth, glabrous, with scattered yellowish sessile glands . Crown incorrectly cut, 0.2 - 0.3 (0.4) mm high, membranous.

From:    „Флора на Република България”, том XI, БАН, Академично издателство „Проф. Марин Дринов”, София, (2013)

*     *     *     *     *
Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) is a perennial, herbaceous flowering plant of the aster family, native to temperate Europe and Asia. It has been introduced to other parts of the world, including North America, and in some areas has become invasive. It is also known as common tansy,[2] bitter buttons, cow bitter, or golden buttons. The Latin word vulgare means "common".[3]


Tansy is a flowering herbaceous plant with finely divided compound leaves and yellow, button-like flowers. It has a stout, somewhat reddish, erect stem, usually smooth, 50–150 cm (20–59 in) tall, and branching near the top. The leaves are alternate, 10–15 cm (3.9–5.9 in) long and are pinnately lobed, divided almost to the center into about seven pairs of segments, or lobes, which are again divided into smaller lobes having saw-toothed edges, giving the leaf a somewhat fern-like appearance. The roundish, flat-topped, button-like, yellow flower heads are produced in terminal clusters from mid-to-late summer. The scent is similar to that of camphor with hints of rosemary. The leaves and flowers are toxic if consumed in large quantities; the volatile oil contains toxic compounds including thujone, which can cause convulsions and liver and brain damage. Some insects, notably the tansy beetle Chrysolina graminis, have resistance to the toxins and subsist almost exclusively on the plant.


Many tansy species contain a volatile oil which can cause contact dermatitis in sensitive individuals. If taken internally, toxic metabolites are produced as the oil is broken down in the liver and digestive tract. It is highly toxic to internal parasites, and for centuries tansy tea has been prescribed by herbalists to expel worms. Tansy is an effective insecticide and is highly toxic to arthropods.[23] Because it contains thujone, the U.S. FDA limits the use of tansy to alcoholic beverages, and the final product must be thujone-free.[24] Tanacetum annuum is often confused with common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) but the former produces an essential oil that is completely different chemically as it contains no thujone and high amounts of chamazulene making the oil dark blue in color, giving rise to its common name of Blue Tansy Oil.[25][26] Despite claims by some unethical resellers of essential oils who adulterate the very expensive Blue Tansy (Tanacetum annuum) oil with the much cheaper oil from Tanacetum vulgare, the oil from Tanacetum vulgare is never blue in color as it contains no chamazulene.[27][28] For this reason a high thujone oil from Tanacetum vulgare should never be referred to as "Blue Tansy" oil and any such blue oil containing significant thujone is an adulterated product.
The active components of the volatile oil include 1,8-cineole, trans-thujone, camphor and myrtenol, with the quantities and proportions of each varying seasonally and from plant to plant.[8][21][29][30][31]
1,8-Cineole is a toxin believed to defend the plant leaves against attacks by herbivores.[29][30]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

*     *     *     *     *

Flowering Time: Blooms: VI - IX, fruitful: VIII - X.

Distribution in Bulgaria: Growing in bushes, sparse forests and forest meadows and outskirts, secondarily in abandoned places near settlements and roads, on grassy and stony terrains, in the foothills and mountains, less often in the lowlands. Widespread, from (0) 600 to 1500 (1800) m above sea level. (Conspectus of the Bulgarian Vascular Flora) = conspectus&gs_l= Zlc.

Distribution: Europe, East, Central and Southwest Asia.

Conservation status and threats: not protected species in Bulgaria by the Biodiversity Law. - Biological Diversity Act -

Medical plant: yes, it is - Medicinal Plants Act -

References: „Флора на Република България”, том XI, БАН, Академично издателство „Проф. Марин Дринов”, София, (2013), Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1. 2. 3.


© K.Nanev


© Copy right: K. Nanev© 2012. All rights reserved