The Common Tansy travelled to North America from Europe and is often found along roadsides, pastures and disturbed areas. The bunches of yellow flowers resemble buttons which lends it to its other name, Bitter Buttons, with dark green, fern-like leaves. Tansy comes from the Greek term meaning 'immortality' as the flowers do not wilt when they die. In England the flowers were placed in shrouds to repel insects and rodents and was believed to ward off the Black Death. Medicinally the plant was used to treat rheumatism, intestinal gas, menstrual issues, worms, and as an insect repellant. Early Christians served it to represent the bitter herbs eaten by the Israelites and during the middle ages it was used as a face wash to lighten skin and to induce abortions.
AIRdirondack Art Project