Herb: Dalmation Pellitory

Latin name: Tanacetum cinerariifolium

Synonyms: Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium, Pyrethrum cinerariifolium

Family: Compositae

Medicinal use of Dalmation Pellitory:

Dalmatian pellitory is not used medicinally, though research has shown that the flowers possess weak antibiotic activity. The flowers are the main source of the insecticide pyrethrum, which is toxic to insects but not to mammals. It has sometimes been used as a vermifuge in China.

Description of the plant:


50 cm
(1 foot)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Rocky ground, usually by the seashore.

Other uses of Dalmation Pellitory:

The dried flower buds are the source of the insecticide "Pyrethrum". The pyrethrins are produced in the yellow disc florets. The highest pyrethrin content is from the flowers when they are in full bloom (1.22%) and lowest in the preceding period (0.71%). This insecticide also kills many beneficial insects, though it is relatively harmless to mammals. Another report says that it is non-toxic to mammals. It is best used in the evening so that it will have lost much of its virulence by the morning. Steep two handfuls of the dried powdered flowers in one litre of hot water for an hour. This mixture can be either pureed or strained and then used as a spray. Once dried, the flowers or the powder retain their insecticidal properties almost indefinitely. The growing plant can be used as an insect repellent in the garden. Effective against mosquitoes and ants.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. Only just cover the seed and do not allow the pot to dry out. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.

Cultivation of Dalmation Pellitory:

Rocky ground, usually by the seashore.

Known hazards of Tanacetum cinerariifolium:

Some people are highly allergic to this plant. Prolonged contact with the dried flowers can lead to allergic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis and asthma in humans.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.