E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Tanacetum vulgare L.
common tansy
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Brian Klinkenberg  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #14762)

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Distribution of Tanacetum vulgare
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a stout rhizome; stems erect, solitary, branched, glabrous to sparsely hairy, dotted with glands, 0.4-1.5 m tall.
Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves alternate, 10-20 cm long, 4-8 cm wide, unstalked or short-stalked, pinnately cut, the axis of the inflorescence evidently winged, the ultimate segments again pinnately cut or deeply lobed and toothed.
Heads disciform, numerous, terminal on the branches in a short, flat- to round-topped inflorescence; involucres 2-3 mm tall; involucral bracts lanceolate, in 2-3 series, keeled, firm except for the papery margin, hairy at the base; ray flowers lacking; marginal flowers glandular, 3-lobed; disk flowers yellow, 5-toothed into rounded lobes, sparsely glandular.
Achenes squared off at top, 1 mm long, 5-angled, glandular-dotted; pappus a minute, narrow-toothed crown.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry roadsides, fields, and disturbed areas in the lowland and montane zones; common in BC south of 55degreeN; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Additional Notes

This species has become a common invader in southern British Columbia, often forming thick stands along roadsides and railway track verges. It is listed as one of the top fourteen species of concern by the Coastal Invasive Plant Committee, for more information visit their web site.


Ecological Framework for Tanacetum vulgare

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 10 566 1900
Slope Gradient (%) 0 5 42
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
188 249 310
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 5 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(1), CWH(6), ESSF(1), IDF(3), SBS(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Chrysanthemum vulgare
Tanacetum boreale Fisch. ex DC.
Tanacetum vulgare var. crispum DC.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References