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Common tansy

Quick facts

Common tansy is an invasive species. Common tansy is on the Control noxious weed list meaning you must prevent the spread of this plant.

  • Common tansy is found along roadsides, in gardens and in abandoned farm yards.

  • South sloping areas are most vulnerable.

  • Forms dense stands that can reduce desirable forage and pasture capacity, degrade wildlife habitat and interfere with reforestation and landscape restoration efforts.

  • May be toxic to livestock if consumed.

Common tansy should be reported. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources provides detailed recommendations for reporting invasive species.

How to identify common tansy

  • Common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) is a perennial herbaceous plant with multiple three to six feet tall, vertical stems giving it a shrub-like appearance.
  • Emits a strong odor when crushed.


  • A single almost woody, slightly hairy to smooth stem that’s purplish-red at the base.
  • The stems have alternate branches that extend toward the top.


  • Fern-like appearance with alternate, pinnately divided, toothed edges; two to twelve inches long.
  • Leaves become smaller toward the top of the stalk and are strongly aromatic when crushed.


  • Bright yellow daisy-like discs up to 1/2" wide, lacking rays; blooms from July through October.
  • Resembles a yellow button.
  • Develops into a dense flat-topped cluster at plant apex.


  • Small, yellowish-brown, dry, five-toothed crowned seeds.
  • The seeds are tufted and easily dispersed. They are dispersed by wind and water.
  • Each plant is able to produce over 50,000 seeds per year.


  • Very fibrous and difficult to remove.
  • Root segments easily resprout.
Common tansy
Common tansy flower buds



Angela Gupta, Extension educator; Amy Rager, Extension educator; Megan M. Weber, Extension educator

Reviewed in 2019

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