Guest Author - Hellie T.
(Tanacetum)Chrysantheum parthenium or Feverfew
is an bushy perennial that grows 18 to 24 inches tall, which has been grown in English Gardens for centuries.
It has pale bright green leaves have a pungent aromatic scent when touched and small clusters of single white flowers with flat yellow centers very like those of a daisy.
Feverfew flowers from late spring to the first frosts.
How to grow.
Feverfew likes a sunny position in well drained soil and will grow well even in poor soil.
The leaves will be darker if grown in a shaded position.
It will live through mild winters in a sheltered spot.
Seeds can be raised from February onwards on a sunny windowsill or in a greenhouse. Plant out in May.
Stem cuttings can be taken in summer or divide the roots in autumn. A good tip is to cut back the foliage after it has bloomed as then a second flush of flowers will appear in late summer.
Beware that feverfew does self seed easily and some may even regard it as a weed!
However I happen to like it and as it grows quickly it is useful for filling in gaps in borders and pathway or drive edging. It looks good with other English cottage garden plants.
Should it start to grow in the wrong place (and it probably will!)then just dig up the young plants and replant somewhere you have a space or give to a neighbour or just throw on the compost heap.
"Auruem" has golden green leaves and makes an easy and pretty edging plant,but it must be in a sunny position.
People have long used feverfew as a remedy for headaches by chewing a leaf but this is not to be recommended as the leaves can cause painful blisters.
It also was used in a hot infusion to cure fevers as it makes you sweat therefore reducing your temperature.
It makes a good cut flower and the flowers will last at least a week in water out of the sun.
You can mix the dried leaves with dried wormwood which makes a potent moth deterrent for your clothes however I think I'd rather have the scent of dried lavender!
Enjoy your garden!