The Tansy’s button-like flowerhead is a composite flower, meaning it is made from lots of tiny flowers, known as disc florets. This makes it an excellent source of nectar for butterflies, bees and other pollinators. It is a member of the daisy family, and the flowers can be seen from July through to September. The flowers have a strong smell, and dried flowers and leaves can be used as an insect repellent.
Traditionally the plant was used to make Tansy cakes, a sweet treat somewhere between a pancake and an omelette, which was eaten around Easter. They were believed to have medicinal qualities, although it is now known that Tansy is mildly toxic.
The name is thought to have come from the Greek word “athanatos” meaning immortality, as in ancient cultures tansy leaves were used to preserve the dead.