A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 54 – Tansy


“Not-so-Common Tansy” – Summer 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Tansy is one of those plants that we all know exists… We have all seen it… But I’d be willing to bet none of us have paid much attention to it… I never have… And then last summer I was watching a red-tailed hawk try to steal a cooper hawks nest… During the course of this I caught a black object moving in my peripheral vision… It turned out to be a dog… A big ass dog… I got a little nervous at first… Then he saw me… As my tail crept between my legs… His tail shot straight up in the air… He ran at me full speed… I have to admit I almost ran… But I didn’t… When the dog got close… He threw himself on the ground at my feet… With his tongue out he started  howling… I had a new friend…

The human attached to this dog was close behind… She was a little old lady with a thick British accent… At first I joked in my head that the dog was obviously walking her… Then she shook my hand… She had a grip like a navy seal… I’d be willing to bet she was 70 years old… And could probably kick my ass blindfolded… Anyway…

This lady knew her stuff… We talked at length about flora and fauna as we walked through the woods… I taught her a little… And she taught me a lot… One of the plants we came across on our walk was Common Tansy… Her face lit up and I could see the wheels of reflection turning in her head… I knew I was about to receive something very special… And believe me… She did not disappoint,..

Apparently… As a young girl growing up in England (wish I could be more specific – I want to say Cornwall – But I don’t even know if that’s really a place) they did not have much money… Or as she put it “pot-less”… Sanitary conditions in her neighborhood were apparently not the greatest and as a result… Flies were everywhere…

Now… It is well-known that Tansy is a powerful insect repellent… Many of todays organic insecticides contain its oils..

Every autumn her and her grandmother would go to the countryside in search of Tansy… They would harvest as much as they could carry… Bring it home and dry it… It was then placed on the sill of every window in the house… The windows could then be cracked in the hot summer months without letting flies into the house…

I have run into a lot of interesting people while walking in the local park… But I have only run into this individual once… I gave her my blogs address… And if she is reading this right now… Please email me…

Tansy is also used as a medicine… Though it borders on poison… I wouldn’t recommend using it… And I wouldn’t ingest this plant…

And I will eat just about anything… Especially tasty treats I find in the forest… Never-the-less… I gathered some Tansy seeds and will be germinating them this spring…

I was looking through my seeds the other day and realized I had gathered elderberry seeds… I forgot about them… I have actually secured permission to transplant some from private property this spring… But I plan on germinating the seeds anyway… I may try to write about Elderberry tomorrow… I know I have photographs of the plant and flowers… I just have to go find them…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tansy

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

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4 thoughts on “A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 54 – Tansy

  1. I have heard of tansy forever but never knew what it looked like. Thanks for that.


  2. […] Enjoying reading a series from a fellow WordPresser – A Plant A Day Till Spring- have been loving the pictures, poetry and information https://chriscondello.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/a-plant-a-day-till-spring-day-54-tansy/ […]


  3. I knew a few of these ‘little old ladies’. Strong as oxen, versatile, fend for themselves. All over 70-years old. My last landlady was one of them. I offered to help her with tasks around the place as I’m quite handy and own a few tools. We compared: she had more tools than I did, fixed the cistern with a champagne cork (don’t ask), etc, etc. Love them.


  4. C.Condello says:

    Found the Elderberry photos!


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