This is a wonderful plant that will grow almost anywhere there is good sunshine. It is very very drought tolerant and will seed itself in pavement cracks and even grow in gravel! It brightens any spot in the garden and is an excellent choice for areas that you wish to cover or brighten where other plants don't have enough soil or water to grown. Deer don't eat it.
Feverfew has mid green serrated green leaves that look rather like chrysanthemums. It has stiff upright branches that bush out to as much as 18 inches and will grow anywhere from nine inches and two feet in height. In late spring it produces bright white daisy flowers at the ends of all the stems which can last as long as a month. Plants will then reseed themselves and many will flower again in the fall. The plants will reseed and overwinter as small green rosettes. This is NOT a perennial since the old plant dies and reseed new plants often twice in a season.
It is best grown by just sprinkling the seeds on the ground in the area you want them to grow. Make sure you know what the leaves look like so you can weed out anything else until the plants are established. Water a little after first seeding but once the plants are up just ignore them. What could be simpler!
The whole plant but especially the flowers have a pungent aromatic smell some find unpleasant. It should not be a choice for indoor cut flowers although some people use them in potpourri. It does however deter many kinds of garden insects like aphids. Dried in can be used indoors to deter house moths.
Although feverfew can tolerate very dry conditions it does not like to be moved. If moving any plant especially a well developed one make sure you water daily until it has recovered. Some plants however just refuse to revive once moved. If you need to move them do so early in spring when the rosettes are still small and watch and water diligently.
Feverfew has long been used as a medicinal herb in all kinds of remedies. However it is quite bitter and some people have trouble eating the leaves often developing mouth sores. For this reason it is often placed in capsules. .
It is claimed to be effective against the inflammation of joints that comes with arthritis. It is also used for treating muscle pain and digestive complaints. Some women have used the plant to help with the pain of menstrual cramps with success, but anyone who is pregnant or thinks they could become pregnant should not use or ingest the chemicals from this plant.
Note: Medicinal uses of herbs mentioned here is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please see a qualified medical practitioner for diagnosis if you have a health problem.
Leaf rosette in early spring