Feverfew ‘Selma Star’, also known as featherfew, altamisa, featherfoil, febrifuge plant, midsummer daisy, Santa Maria, wild chamomile, wild quinine, federfoy, flirtwort, European feverfew, feather-fully, feddygen, flirtroot, and grande chamomile, is a perennial old cottage garden medicinal herb that forms mounds of ferny, light-green foliage and masses of creamy-white, button-shaped, disproportionately large flower heads that bloom through the summer with more blooms in autumn. The foliage has a unique citrus and camphor scent that repels some insects like mosquitos and flies, while attracting others like hoverflies and butterflies. For this reason, it is sometimes planted as a deterrent-plant to ward off certain pests. Will grow just about anywhere in full sun to part shade. Long lasting and hardy in the garden.
Will self-sow. Deadhead to prevent self-seeding. Deer and rabbit resistant.
Leaves have been used medicinally for centuries in treating fevers, migraines, arthritis, stomach aches, and to lower temperature and cool the body. Historically the plant has also been used to induce menstruation and can be used to aid difficult births by aiding the expulsion of the placenta. In small quantities it can be useful for migraines associated with menstruation and for headaches. The herb can also help arthritic and rheumatic pain. The US National Institute of Health even acknowledges its “multifarious therapeutic uses,” including anticancer activity. A word of caution though- Eating fresh leaves may cause canker sores. Do not take Feverfew if taking warfarin or other blood thinning drugs, and do not take if pregnant or breastfeeding.
You can cut whole flower heads to fill a vase, where they last for ages. The dried flowers can be used in flower arrangements.