Feverfew Tanacetum parthenium double white-flowered (d)
The double white-flowered feverfew features a bounty of charming, daisy-like blossoms. Each flower consists of a dense cluster of fluffy, white petals that radiate around a yellow-green center. The petals are numerous and create a frilly, pompom-like effect which gives the blooms a full and lush appearance. These showy blossoms create a striking contrast against the plant's backdrop of aromatic, green foliage. The leaves are typically pinnately divided with a somewhat ferny or feathery texture, adding to the plant's delicate and airy aesthetic. This variant of feverfew is especially prized for its ornamental flowers, which have a romantic, cottage garden feel and make excellent additions to floral arrangements.
About this plant
Feverfew, Bachelor's Buttons, Featherfew, Featherfoil, Flirtwort.
Chrysanthemum parthenium (L.) Bernh., Matricaria capensis Thunb., Matricaria eximia Hort., Matricaria parthenium L.
Feverfew is generally considered non-toxic to humans when used appropriately. However, ingesting large amounts of the plant can lead to side effects such as mouth ulcers, gastrointestinal distress, and nausea. In people with allergies to other members of the Compositae family, such as ragweed or marigolds, Feverfew might cause allergic reactions. There are also risks associated with consuming Feverfew during pregnancy since it may influence menstrual cycles and potentially cause uterine contractions.
While Feverfew is not typically listed as a toxic plant to pets, it may cause mild gastrointestinal upset if ingested in large quantities. Symptoms could include vomiting and diarrhea. As in humans, pets with allergies to the Compositae family could potentially have an allergic reaction to Feverfew. It is always best to keep an eye on your pet and consult with a veterinarian if you notice any unusual symptoms after ingestion.
Color of leaves
1-2 feet (30-60 cm)
1-2 feet (30-60 cm)
- General Benefits
- Attracts pollinators: The flowers provide nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinating insects.
- Garden aesthetics: Double white-flowered feverfew adds visual appeal with its lush white blooms and can be used in flower beds or as an ornamental border.
- Drought tolerance: It is relatively resistant to drought, making it suitable for gardens in drier climates or for gardeners seeking water-wise plants.
- Easy to grow: Feverfew is known for being easy to cultivate and maintain, even for novice gardeners.
- Pest repellent: The plant has natural properties that can repel certain insects, helping to protect nearby plants from pests.
- Companion planting: Can be planted alongside other garden crops to encourage biodiversity and potentially improve the growth and health of companion plants.
- Medical Properties
- Migraine prevention: Feverfew has been traditionally used to prevent migraine headaches.
- Anti-inflammatory: The plant contains parthenolide, which may contribute to anti-inflammatory effects.
- Antipyretic: Feverfew has been used to reduce fever, aligning with its name and historic usage.
- Antirheumatic: Sometimes used for its potential to alleviate arthritis-related inflammation.
- Antispasmodic: It is believed to alleviate muscle spasms, including those related to menstrual cramps.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Feverfew is often used in companion planting to repel pests such as aphids and other insects due to its strong scent, which is considered unpleasant to many pests.
- The plant can be dried and used in potpourri to impart its distinct aroma into a room, while also providing a subtle, natural insect-repelling quality.
- It may be planted in flower gardens to attract beneficial insects, such as bees and butterflies, due to its plentiful and attractive flowers.
- The petals can be used to make a natural dye for fabrics, yielding a subtle color that can vary depending on the mordant used.
- Feverfew flowers are sometimes used in floral arrangements or pressed flower crafts due to their delicate and ornamental appearance.
- Gardeners may use feverfew as an ornamental border in landscape designs because of its compact size and abundance of white flowers.
- The plant's strong smell can be harnessed to create natural, herbal insect repellent sachets for closets or drawers.
- It is occasionally used in naturalized plantings and restoration projects to support local ecosystems and provide habitat for wildlife.
- Feverfew can function as a cover crop in certain settings, to improve soil health and protect against erosion due to its dense growth habit.
- In some traditions, feverfew is believed to bring good luck and is therefore incorporated in small charms or tokens.
- Feng Shui
The plant Feverfew is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The plant Feverfew is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Healing: Tanacetum parthenium, commonly known as Feverfew, has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, particularly migraines and fevers, symbolizing its healing properties.
- Protection: Feverfew is also believed to ward off negative energy and protect against harm, making it a symbol of protection in folk belief systems.
- Purification: The strong scent and medicinal properties of Feverfew have associated it with the idea of purification, as it was thought to cleanse the air and spirit.
Feverfew should be watered regularly, ensuring that the soil is kept evenly moist but not waterlogged. During the growing season, water the plant with about 1 inch of water per week, adjusting as necessary during periods of rainfall or drought. Ensure that the soil is allowed to dry out slightly between waterings to prevent root rot. It's best to water feverfew deeply, which encourages the roots to grow deeper and makes the plant more drought-tolerant. During winter or in cooler climates, reduce watering and allow the topsoil to dry out more between waterings.
Feverfew requires full sun to part shade to thrive. The ideal location is a spot where the plant can receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, although it can tolerate some light afternoon shade, especially in hotter climates. Avoid deep shade as it can lead to leggy growth and fewer flowers.
Feverfew grows best in temperatures ranging from about 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It can withstand a minimum temperature of around 40 degrees Fahrenheit but will not survive freezing conditions. For optimal growth, ensure it is placed in a location where it can enjoy cooler nights and warmer days, avoiding extreme heat or cold.
Pruning feverfew is necessary to encourage bushier growth, remove spent flowers, and prevent self-seeding if not desired. Prune or deadhead the flowers after they fade to promote a second bloom. Major pruning should be done in the early spring or fall. Regular trimming helps maintain the desired shape and size of your feverfew plants.
For the Feverfew 'Double White-flowered' plant, the best soil mix is light and well-draining with a mix of loam, peat, and sharp sand. The ideal pH level for Feverfew should be between 6.0 and 6.7 to ensure optimal growth.
Feverfew 'Double White-flowered' should be repotted every 1-2 years to refresh the soil and accommodate root growth. Carefully handle the roots during repotting as they are delicate.
- Humidity & Misting
Feverfew 'Double White-flowered' is adaptable but prefers moderate humidity levels. However, it does not require high humidity to thrive, making it suitable for typical home environments.
- Suitable locations
Place Feverfew in bright indirect light with occasional direct sun.
Plant Feverfew in partial sun, protect from strong winds.
- Life cycle
The life of the plant commonly known as double white-flowered feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium 'Double White') begins with seed germination, occurring when soil temperatures and moisture levels are favourable, usually in spring. After germination, seedlings emerge and establish a root system while developing their first true leaves. The vegetative growth stage follows, where the feverfew grows stems and foliage, expanding both above and below ground to build energy for flowering. During the flowering stage, usually in early to mid-summer, the plant produces characteristic white, daisy-like flowers with multiple layers of petals due to its double-flowered status. After pollination, often by insects, the flowers develop into seeds, completing the reproductive cycle. In many climates, feverfew behaves as a short-lived perennial or biennial, capable of reseeding itself for subsequent seasons or surviving winter to bloom again.
Spring to early summer
Propogation: The most popular method of propagating the Feverfew, particularly the Tanacetum parthenium double white-flowered variety, is through division. This process is best carried out in the spring or autumn. To propagate by division, one should gently lift the plant from the soil and use a sharp, clean knife or spade to divide the root ball into smaller sections. Each section must have a portion of the root system and several shoots. These sections can be immediately replanted in well-draining soil at the same depth they were growing originally, spaced about 12 to 18 inches (roughly 30 to 45 centimeters) apart to accommodate future growth. The soil should be kept moist, but not waterlogged, until the new plants are established and showing signs of growth.