Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


1. Tansy was used to keep rats out of corn stacks in Scottish Isles.  I have seen it done.  Don’t think it works, but the rats smell nice [South Ronaldsay, Orkney 2017].

2.  Many years ago an old lady told me that when she was a girl in the Shropshire countryside people used to use tansy as a floor covering. This was used to keep the air pleasant. The houses had bare stone floors [Cannock, Staffordshire, April 2012].

0243. Tansy – if as a stepchild you suspect your stepmother is poisoning you, [you] immediately should eat some tansy leaves … given to me by a couple of people in a party that I was taking around our gardens, so regretfully I didn’t get the geographical source [Barsham, Suffolk, May 2002].

4. Occasionally known as yellow buttons – used as a moth repellent, and placed round the home it can discourage flies and other insects. It can used as a vermicide [Lerwick, Shetland, March 1994].

Images:  main, cultivated, Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset, August 2014; inset, cultivated, Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses, London Borough of Lambeth, August 2015.