Tanacetum parthenium, Chrysanthemum parthenium
Low, bushy herbaceous perennial in the daisy family. Many grow these cute-as-a-button white and yellow flowers as a garden ornamental, but its pungent, aromatic leaf has also been used medicinally since the first century in Ancient Greece, and perhaps before.
Native to the Balkan peninsula, Anatolia and the Caucasus, it is now grown throughout the temperate world and has been used medicinally throughout Europe for hundreds of years as pain relief for headache and migraine issues.
Its common name in English, "feverfew," derives from the Latin "febrifugia," meaning "fever reducer," likely citing its historic use as a general anti-inflammatory.
These low-growing bushy flowers reach between 20-36" in height, and prefer a sunny spot in the garden. Keep a watchful eye, as they are strong growers and can easily take over in the right conditions. Makes an excellent cut or dried flower, grows well in beds, borders and containers.
Days to maturity: 80-90
Seeds per pack: 100
Germination rate: 66% on 03/25/2022
Planting / harvesting notes
Light dependent germinator. Sow indoors 4-6 weeks before last frost - press seeds into surface of soil and keep moist until germination, usually within 14 days. For direct sowing, sow seeds in early spring while the ground is still cool, or in autumn to overwinter. Sprinkle seeds on top of the soil and lightly tamp to ensure full contact, do not cover. When seedlings reach 3-5inches, thin to about 2' apart. Tender perennial, hardy in zones 5-9.
Seed keeping notes
After flowering, allow the plant to develop its brown, puffy seed heads. Wait for the stems and aerial parts of the plant to turn brown and dry. Cut full stalks, with seed heads intact, into brown paper bag. Let dry for several weeks. Then simply tap seed heads and collect the fallen, ripe seeds!
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