Information on Feverfew

Common Name: Feverfew
Scientific Name: Tanacetum parthenium
Irish Name: Lus deartán
Family Group: Asteraceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Feverfew is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


This is a strongly aromatic perennial which bears daisy-like flower-heads and is commonly found in many different habitats, most of them near habitation.  Stiffly erect, it is well branched towards the top of the stems and carries its flower-heads in flat-topped clusters.  The flowers (12-20mm across) have white radiating ray-florets, the inner disc-florets being bright yellow and they bloom from June to September.  The leaves are bright green, have broad lobes and are mainly stalked.  This plant was introduced from S.E. Europe and is generally considered to be a garden escape which has naturalised in Ireland. There is also a double flowered version which can be found growing in gardens.  Feverfew belongs to the family Asteraceae. 

I first recorded this plant in my own garden in Dalkey, Co Dublin in 1976 and photographed it at Derrynane, Co Kerry in 2008. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Feverfew
Feverfew

The medicinal properties of Feverfew were first made known to me by a neighbour who asked me for the leaves of the plant in order to make a sandwich as a cure for her migraine.  Nicholas Culpeper wrote in his 'Complete Herbal' of 1653 :   It is very effectual for all pains in the head coming of a cold cause, the herb being bruised and applied to the crown of the head'.

It is also used in herbal medicine to combat arthritic inflammation and is a constituent part in some skincare creams.  However, before trying anything such as the above please get the advice of an expert.