Herb: Pyrethrum

Latin name: Tanacetum coccineum

Synonyms: Chrysanthemum coccineum, Chrysanthemum roseum, Pyrethrum roseum

Family: Compositae

Description of the plant:


60 cm
(2 feet)

July to

Habitat of Pyrethrum:

Sunny dry mountainous habitats. Sub-alpine meadows in the Caucasus.

Other uses of the herb:

The dried flower heads are used as an insecticide, they are a source of the commercially available insecticide "pyrethrum", which is non-toxic to mammals. This species is less effective than T. cinerariifolium. Only the yellow disk rays contain pyrethrins. Once dried, the flowers or the powder retain their insecticidal properties almost indefinitely.

Propagation of Pyrethrum:

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 the herb:

Sunny dry mountainous habitats. Sub-alpine meadows in the Caucasus.

Medicinal use of Pyrethrum:

None known

Known hazards of Tanacetum coccineum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.