How to Grow Feverfew (chrysanthemum parthenium)
- Plant: perennial, hardy to -20 deg
- Height: 30-90cm
- Soil: well drained, moist
- Exposure: sun, partial shade
- Propagation: cuttings, division
- Uses: landscape only
Feverfew is a compact, rugged perennial chrysanthemum with very
divided and cut leaves that have a pungent aroma which some people find
unpleasant. The species has single white flowers which produce
quantities of seed that germinate readily; in some areas it has a
reputation as a weed. The plants grow between 30 to 90cm tall, depending
on the variety. 'Golden Ball' has bright yellow flower heads and no
rays. 'Silver Ball' is completely double with only the white rays
showing. 'Aureum,' commonly sold in flats as 'Golden Feather,' features
chartreuse colored foliage as its principal attraction.
As the name implies, feverfew was once used in treating fevers. A tea
brewed from the leaves and wreaths of its foliage placed about the head
were two folk remedies for a headache.
Growth is easy in a moist, well drained soil and sun or partial
shade. Plants grown from seeds sown in the spring will produce bloom by
midsummer. Thereafter, propagate by dividing established plants in the
spring or fall, or by cuttings taken from the base of stems, or for the
species by simply transplanting volunteer seedlings.
This herb is valued as an ornamental in perennial borders and for its
cut flowers which can be used in arrangements.
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