Tanacetum Species, Feverfew, Pale Maids, Pellitory

Tanacetum parthenium

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tanacetum (TAN-uh-SEE-tum) (Info)
Species: parthenium (par-THEN-ee-um) (Info)
Synonym:Chrysanthemum parthenium
Synonym:Pyrethrum parthenium
View this plant in a garden




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun





Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Madison, Alabama

Tuskegee, Alabama

Yarnell, Arizona

Alameda, California

Arroyo Grande, California

COARSEGOLD, California

Clayton, California

Fairfield, California

Lake Forest, California

Manhattan Beach, California

Menifee, California

Merced, California

Oak View, California

Redding, California

San Jose, California

Yosemite Lakes, California

Delta, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

Monument, Colorado

Beverly Hills, Florida

Seffner, Florida

Conyers, Georgia

Corral, Idaho

Fairfield, Idaho

Granite City, Illinois

Itasca, Illinois

Jeffersonville, Indiana

Rising Sun, Indiana

Fairfield, Iowa

Sioux City, Iowa

Lexington, Kentucky

Baltimore, Maryland

Cumberland, Maryland

Reading, Massachusetts

Southborough, Massachusetts

Troy, Michigan

Blackduck, Minnesota

Farmington, Minnesota

La Crescent, Minnesota

Florence, Mississippi

Blair, Nebraska

Pahrump, Nevada

Berlin, New Hampshire

Munsonville, New Hampshire

Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Plainfield, New Jersey

Princeton Junction, New Jersey

Trenton, New Jersey

Brooklyn, New York

Deposit, New York

Dunkirk, New York

New York City, New York

Ronkonkoma, New York

West Babylon, New York

Bucyrus, Ohio

Cincinnati, Ohio

Glouster, Ohio

Hillsboro, Oregon

Klamath Falls, Oregon

Portland, Oregon(3 reports)

South Beach, Oregon

Coopersburg, Pennsylvania

Greensburg, Pennsylvania

Lansdowne, Pennsylvania

Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

West Chester, Pennsylvania(2 reports)

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Simpsonville, South Carolina

Brazoria, Texas

Salem, Utah

West Dummerston, Vermont

Bedford, Virginia

Falls Church, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Arlington, Washington

Arlington Heights, Washington

Bremerton, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Olympia, Washington

Oso, Washington

Seattle, Washington(2 reports)

Smokey Point, Washington

Stanwood, Washington

Washougal, Washington

Woodinville, Washington

Racine, Wisconsin

Twin Lakes, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 20, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

There are at least two different double-flowered forms which come true from seed. One is flat and has an off-colored center, and one ('Crown White') is pompom shaped and pure white. Both are nice, but I prefer the latter. There is also a golden leafed form.

I like the pungent smell the foliage gives when rubbed, though not everyone does.

Nice plant. Very long-blooming, and an excellent cut flower. Tolerates some shade. Not long-lived.

I've found the self-sowing is an advantage---It hasn't been excessive for me. Perhaps that's because I've only grown double forms, which may be less fertile. Though some forms may self-sow aggressively in gardens, and though the species is widely naturalized in North America, I find no evidence that it's destruct... read more


On Sep 4, 2013, Domehomedee from Arroyo Grande, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I love this little daisy plant. It's lime green foliage brightens the garden and the little white daisy flowers are a welcome sight. I have had a couple of these pop up here and there in my garden over the years and I always leave them. The deer never eat them, and the gophers don't seem to like them either. This year I'm collecting seed and I'm going to try to start a large patch of them under my California live oaks. I have tried many plants in this area and between the shade and the wildlife nothing makes it more than a couple of years. I would welcome a invasion, even if it spills out into the rest of my yard.
Three years later and the I'm still in love with this plant. It self sowed under the Oaks, even with only minimum sun daily. It's summer now and a good time to cu... read more


On Apr 17, 2013, NicoleC from Madison, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

While it's an attractive mounding evergreen herbs, it's also quite capable of taking over your entire herb bed. This is only it's second spring for me, but I am pulling out seedlings hundreds of feet away and like a bad airline companion it is shoving it's way into the seats of its neighbors already. I will heed the warnings saying the 3rd year is even worse and remove it this year. Reluctantly, since it truly is attractive. I just don't want a solid wall of feverfew.


On Oct 24, 2012, ratlover1 from Rising Sun, IN wrote:

Just started growing this plant this year so I can't comment as to its self-seeding or invasiveness. It's a lovely plant and a nice addition to my herb garden. It's welcome to take up space, as weeds are rampant and the more plants I can crowd in, the less space for the unwelcome weeds!
I don't know how 'normal' this is for this plant, but again this is its first year, and it is blooming happily right now, even after a few frosts and one good freeze. If it doesn't spread on it's own I will be planting more of it! Lovely blooms that are so similar to chamomile, and so nice to see at this time of year!


On Jun 13, 2011, leesdachshunds from Redding, CA wrote:

I just found out what the name of this plant was. I have no idea how it even started in my yard. Its under one of my oak trees and I just love it. Its such a pretty color of green and the little white flowers are cute. Its been growing in the same spot for 3 years now and its not really that invasive. If it comes up where I dont want it I just yank it out.


On May 17, 2011, hmm214 from Racine, WI wrote:

I picked up one feverfew plant at a garage sale a couple years ago. That one bloomed for so long that summer and the foliage was so pretty that I wished it would reseed as profusely as others said it did. This year it looks like I am getting my wish! It looks like it will fill in that area of my garden nicely. The soil isn't very good there and it only gets morning sun but it seems to like it.


On Jul 17, 2010, merigold from Sioux City, IA (Zone 4b) wrote:

I find this plant very attractive and hardy. Last year I planted it and my did it self sow! But, they are so easy to pluck, even more mature plants can be simply pulled out of the soil (and can be re-planted!) I chose to allow "extras" to grow a bit before pulling and then I hang them upside down to dry for tea.


On Nov 22, 2009, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

A jolly plant which self-sows freely. I let it grow here and there, much like johnny jump-up, or yank it out if it doesn't 'fit' where it chose to grow. It's a great white filler, particulary around new plants which haven't reached their full size. A good combo is a swath of feverfew growing under a honeysuckle meandering along the top of my 3-board fence. My feverfew blooms from June-July, I cut it back to about 4", then get another bloom from Sept-Nov. One of the last flowers hanging in during the fall. And yes, it is a great medicinal herb.


On Jun 7, 2009, flora_p from Champaign, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

A regretful negative. It's a lovely plant with attractive foliage and I like the scent. But the self-seeding was absolutely mind-blowing--not so much the second year, but the third year spring there was literally a gentle green fuzz over the entire bed from the thousands of seedlings. That was several years ago and I'm still pulling up volunteers (at least they come out cheerfully). It's either all feverfew (for the species, anyway) or no feverfew in my garden, unfortunately, and I chose the latter.


On Sep 25, 2008, gsteinbe from Trenton, NJ wrote:

Those who say that it self-sows rampantly are right. I planted bulk seeds among the rocks on the top of a retaining wall around my backyard swimming pool. I had read that Feverfew kept bees, wasps, and other bugs away, and since I'm allergic to bee and wasp sting, I thought that having them around the outer edge of my pool area would be smart. The area is almost literally nothing but rocks too -- very, very little real soil and almost no moisture. So, I thought that Feverfew, since it was supposed to tolerate drought well, would be a good choice to grow there. It has thrived (probably 3 feet wide and tall in bloom), and at the height of flowering, it's stunningly beautiful. Even when not in bloom, the leaves have a ferny look that is appealing. I'm not sure that it works as a bee or... read more


On Jul 26, 2008, valdev from Boise, ID (Zone 6b) wrote:

I lived up in the mountains of Idaho for 12 years, and still have a home up there, at about 4,500 feet altitude. Our average lowest temp is -30f, and average annual snow is 7-12 feet. The USDA zone is 3a, or Sunset Western zone 1a.

A friend gave me some feverfew several years ago, which was planted in a narrow, shady strip between my log cabin and a sidewalk. The feverfew has settled in nicely, spreading itself around, between the hostas, and even across the sidewalk to another strip - this one with unimproved soil, full sun, and which gets no supplemental watering.

Anything that can survive and even thrive in such conditions, while being very cute too, gets my approval. :)


On May 10, 2008, Susan_C from Alameda, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I grow both the single and the double form and enjoy both. The single form has wonderful lime-green foliage that contrasts beautifully with any plant that has purple foliage. The little daisy flowers are a nice bonus.

The double form doesn't have the nice lime green foliage, but tends to be a larger plant, more floriferous and with fully double flowers that look like minature mums. Both types self-sow with wild abandon but are easily controlled. They are also extremely easy to start from cuttings and root very quickly.


On Aug 10, 2007, Opoetree from Oak View, CA wrote:

Our feverfew plants come up voluntarily year after year...never know where one will just announce itself! Not sure if they are natives or not, but they do extremely well in the Ojai Valley. I have always enjoyed their daisy-like petite charm!


On Jul 17, 2007, bemidjigreen from Blackduck, MN wrote:

I grow feverfew white wonder--its been in my garden for over 3 years. This one is a car stopper in my yard--I have had many of my neighbors stop their car and ask about this flower.--its is a gorgeous plant that has very long lasting blooms. Very easy to start from seed.

It self seeds somewhat, but with it needing light for germination its is not an overly successful self sower in my garden.

The hardiness rating for this plant is in error-I live in zone 2b and this plant does over winter just fine in my garden without any additional protection other than moderate snow cover. It is not a long lived perennial so you will want to start a few every year to keep them going in your garden.


On Dec 30, 2006, GMan13 from Lakewood, CO (Zone 5a) wrote:

I think this plant is the bomb. I think it gets leggy because it doesn't need much water. I grow it in Colorado, basically a semi-arid desert. I really don't water it much; I recommend that you DON'T irrigate this bad boy if you live back east, and if you must, use drip only as spray encourages leggy habit. Try growing it in aggregate smaller than 3/8", no bark or cedar mulch. Keep the root crown on the dry side and the down low. They say it doesn't smell good, but I like it. It works on migraines, not so much for sinus headaches (Parthenolide). I can't imagine eating this, drinking it's tea, or using a tincture. It tastes gag-nasty. Why do you think the deer and bunnies steer clear? It's very alkaloid! I stuff it into gelatin capsules I buy at Vitamin Cottage. They say 2-3 lea... read more


On Oct 17, 2006, Lady_fern from Jeffersonville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is a great cut flower. Its sprays of little daisy-like flowers are wonderful filler for bouquets.

It requires constant deadheading, so plant it near the path. If the whole plant goes to seed, it dies. Short-lived even when religiously deadheaded.


On Jul 19, 2006, Anitabryk2 from Long Island, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:

Excellent Wintersown plant! I now have this plant all over my backyard and I love it. It will be a constant part of my garden design.


On Jan 15, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

I love the flowers, but they self-seed rampantly. They are good "filler" plants. My information says they are hardy in zones 4-10. Light aids germination of seeds.


On Mar 28, 2005, sharvis from Klamath Falls, OR (Zone 6a) wrote:

Others have commented on its use as a medicinal herb. I've always heard that it was used to cure headaches, though I've never tried it myself. It does reseed rather aggressively, but it has been so useful for me since it is very hardy, seemingly tolerates poor soil, bad weather, and shade, and is never even touched by deer or rabbits (a real bonus!). It has turned out to be one of my favorite plants. I plant it where nothing else will grow, and I pinch back until early July to keep it from getting leggy.


On Feb 17, 2005, Nyte from Independence, MO wrote:

My grandmammy swears by this as a headache cure. A leaf or two helps with a migraine - It has been known to cause mouth sores but then can be prevented by eating it on a sandwich.


On Sep 28, 2004, xjnc from West Harrison, NY wrote:

I love this plant as a fill in. I move self sewn seedling to propagate elsewhere and move large well developed seedlings usually in spring. Blooms in June here - just north of NYC. I keep pinching back through May and plants are not leggy. Pull plants out once blooms fade to avoid the messy appearance.


On Aug 14, 2004, WillowWasp from Jones Creek, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Have grown this a few times and although it grew nicely I was not to impressed with it. It grew very fast and got leggy and spindly quickly, I did plant it in the vegetable garden and it was a nice addition there.


On Jul 21, 2004, Buttoneer from Carlisle, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I got seeds from a gal in Olean, NY many years ago on this plant and have been growing it ever since. I also grew the double feverfew, but personally, the single feverfew is prettier. My only grief about this plant is that as the blooms die back, leaf miners really make the leaves look nasty just like Columbines do as their flowers die back.


On Jul 6, 2004, NatureWalker from New York & Terrell, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Medicinal Action and Uses: Aperient, carminative, bitter. As a stimulant it is usefulas an emmenagogue. Is also employed in hysterical complaints, nervousness and lowness of spirits, and is a general tonic. The cold infusion is made from 1 OZ. of the herb to a pint of boiling water, allowed to cool, and taken frequently in doses of half a teacupful.

A decoction with sugar or honey is said to be good for coughs, wheezing and difficult breathing. The herb, bruised and heated, or fried with a little wine and oil, has been employed as a warm external application for wind and colic.

A tincture made from Feverfew and applied locally immediately relieves the pain and swelling caused by bites of insects and vermin. It is said that if two teaspoonfuls of tincture are m... read more


On Jul 5, 2004, axel from Hemel Hempstead,
United Kingdom wrote:

Traditional herb used in 16th century England (and elsewhere?). Leaves v aromatic. Used to ease/ cure 'women's complaints' (cheaper than a new kitchen :-) ) and to reduce fever. Self seeds but not invasive. Interesting but not a spectacular plant.


On Nov 10, 2002, ljday from Oakland, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I planted a seedling in a spot that has afternoon shade. I never tended it, except for an occasional watering. It flourished with lots of blooms from Spring until late September. (Zone 9). I hope it reseeds, because the area, it's in, probably won't get really planned until 2004. The deer never touched it. I love it.


On Oct 9, 2001, Sis wrote:

Best climate is zones 5-7.

Biennial or perennial;height 2-3feet;erect stems and foliage resemble chamomile.

Flowers midsummer to fall; daisy-like white rays with yellow center.

Usually free from pests/diseases.

SPECIAL TIPS; Also known as Matricaria parthenium.