Tanacetum parthenium (Feverfew)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Family:Asteraceae (Aster)
Life cycle:perennial
  • Weedy
Habitat:part shade, sun; roadsides, fields, trail edges, vacant lots, gravel pits, weedy shores
Bloom season:June - August
Plant height:1 to 2 feet
Wetland Indicator Status:none
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 7+petals Cluster type: flat

[photo of flowers] Daisy-type flowers in a flattish cluster at the top of the stem and the tips of branching stems. Flowers are ½ to 1 inch across with 10 to 30 short white petals (ray flowers) with 3 small teeth at the tip, and a golden yellow center disk that expands from button-shaped to dome-shaped as it matures.

[photo of phyllaries] The bracts surrounding the base of the flower (phyllaries) are in 2 or 3 layers, leathery, narrowly lance-linear, light green with a darker green tip and a narrow band of pale, membranous edging. Flower stalks are up to 4 inches long. Stalks and phyllaries are hairless to sparsely, minutely hairy.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: compound Leaf type: lobed

[photo of leaves] Leaves are alternate, 1½ to 4 inches long, up to 2½ inches wide, egg to diamond-shaped in outline, 1 or 2 times pinnately lobed with rounded to bluntly pointed segments, and have a citrus-y odor when crushed. The upper surface is hairless or nearly so, the lower minutely hairy and gland-dotted. The lowest leaves are largest and stalked, becoming somewhat less lobed and stalkless as they ascend the stem. Stems are usually erect, branched or not, ridged, hairless at the base becoming minutely hairy in the flower clusters.

Fruit: Fruit type: seed_without_plume

The center disk becomes a round head of dry, brown seeds. Seeds are ribbed, 1 to 2 mm long and lack a tuft of hairs.


Introduced from Europe, Feverfew has a long history of medicinal uses and has been widely cultivated. It sometimes escapes cultivation and may be found along roadsides, parking lots, trail edges, old fields, and other weedy places, though has rarely been encountered in Minnesota. The flower heads may resemble other weedy daisy-like species, such as Dog Fennel (Anthemis cotula) and Matricaria species, which all have more finely divided leaves with linear or thread-like segments and only some of which are aromatic when crushed.

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More photos

Photos by Peter M. Dziuk taken in a private garden.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Cris Swantko - Rochester
on: 2021-07-13 21:21:59

This plant came up wild this spring (2021) in one of my flower beds. I let it grow to find out what it was.

Posted by: Laurie Olesen - Anoka County
on: 2022-06-22 09:26:30

This plant showed up last year in my flower garden.

Posted by: Cathy Upham - Hennepin
on: 2023-05-17 07:34:42

I got this with other plants I purchased from a homeowner. Now it is taking over a new area in my garden. Is this considered a native? I just started a new native garden, and wonder if I need to keep it out.

Posted by: K Chayka
on: 2023-05-17 08:31:15

Cathy, the table of plant info at the top of the page, as well as the Notes section, mention the plant's origin. This is a European species.

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