Tanacetum parthenium (Chrysanthemum Parthenium or Pyrethrum Parthenium) | Feverfew
Feverfew, 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 short lived perennial medicinal herb that forms shrubby mounds up to 2′ tall of ferny, light-green foliage and produces masses of small, charming, non-double, daisy-like white flowers with yellow centers. Plants are highly fragrant with some bitter aromatics that are not appreciated by all, and in fact, repel some insects, while attracting others like hoverflies and butterflies. For this reason, it is sometimes planted as a deterrent-plant to ward off certain pests. Prefers well-drained soil and full sun to part shade.
Will self-sow, Deadhead to prevent self-seeding.
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.
As a cut flower this variety has a more intense fragrance and less dense flower clusters compared to improved versions or hybrids. The dried flowers can additionally be used in flower arrangements.