Feverfew: A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information for feverfew

Feverfew is a composite herb of the Asteraceae family. It has numerous, small, daisy-like heads of yellow flowers with outer white rays, the central yellow florets being arranged on a nearly flat receptacle, not conical as in the chamomiles. The stem is finely furrowed and hairy, about 2 feet high; the leaves alternate, downy with short hairs, or nearly smooth-about 4 1/2 inches long and 2 inches broad—bipinnatifid, with serrate margins, the leaf-stalk being flattened above and convex beneath. It is not to be confused with other wild chamomile-like allied species, which mostly have more feathery leaves and somewhat large flowers; the stem also is upright, whereas that of the true garden chamomiles is procumbent. The delicate green leaves are conspicuous even in mild winter. The whole plant has a strong and bitter smell.

common names & nomenclature
The word feverfew derives from the Latin word febrifugia.

Also known as:
feverfew, featherfoil, featherfew, chrysanthemum parthenium, pyrethrum parthenium, bachelor's buttons, flirtwort

Feverfew, the daisy for fire and wind
Feverfew: Where in the World
habitat and range for feverfew

Feverfew was native to Eurasia; specifically the Balkan Peninsula, Anatolia and the Caucasus, but cultivation has spread it around the world and it is now also found in Europe, the Mediterranean, North America and Chile.

Feverfew: Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting feverfew

Feverfew grows in full sun on mountain scrub, rocky slopes, walls, waste places and is a weed of gardens (may become invasive).

Thrives in ordinary garden soil as long as it’s not very acidic.

Sow feverfew seeds in spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, transplant the seedlings into individual pots and plant them out in early summer, after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed it can be sown outdoors in the garden during the spring. Plants usually self-sow freely, once you have the plant established, further sowing is usually unnecessary. May also be propagated by cuttings and division.

Harvest the feverfew when the flowers are in full bloom. Harvesting at full bloom produces a slightly higher yield than harvesting during early bloom. Cut no more than one-third of the plant at a single harvest. Tie the feverfew bundle at its stems with some twine and hang the bundle upside down to dry it. Feverfew will dry out best in a dark, airy and dry place.

Store dried plant pieces in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.