The Very Green Gardener

Pyrethrum (Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium)

from 4.00
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Pyrethrum (Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium)

from 4.00

Also known as Dalmation Pellitory, Pyrethrum is a beautiful ground cover plant with blue-white fernlike leaves and white/yellow daisy heads. It is a favourite groundcover plant for full sun to semi shade, as it will visually cover the ground and still be easy to weed around without damaging the plant itself.

I can’t speak any higher of this plant as a groundcover. It is not a very vigorous grower in semi shade, which means that maintaining the garden bed is a 3-4 times a year affair. The flowers bloom in spring and put on a gorgeous show.

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Also known as Dalmation Pellitory, Pyrethrum is a beautiful ground cover plant with blue-white fernlike leaves and white/yellow daisy heads. It is a favourite groundcover plant for full sun to semi shade, as it will visually cover the ground and still be easy to weed around without damaging the plant itself.

I can’t speak any higher of this plant as a groundcover. It is not a very vigorous grower in semi shade, which means that maintaining the garden bed is a 3-4 times a year affair. The flowers bloom in spring and put on a gorgeous show.

Notes- Pyrethrum can refer to a number of different plants. This plant is

  • Dalmatian Chrysanthemum, Tanacetum cinerarifolium, originates in Dalmatia. It also is a great insecticide but grows much larger than this plant- 45-100cm.

  • C. coccineum, C. balsamita and C. marshalli, also contain insecticidal substances in lesser amounts and are sometimes referred to as pyrethrum.

To make pyrethrum spray, you can mash up the flowers to release the active ingredient (pyrethrin) and soak them in water or oil before spraying on your plants. I would keep the liquid for no longer than a week or two before making a new batch, because pyrethrins degrade when exposed to light.

Dalmatian chrysanthemum is a great source of pyrethrin but as C.coccineum is a smaller, prettier, easier addition to the garden, this is the plant I recommend growing for pyrethrin.

Pyrethrins attack the nervous system of insects, and even if you can’t get a strong enough concoction to kill insects, they will still repel insects in lesser amounts. The liquid is harmful to fish, but not birds and mammals. Because pyrethrin is biodegradable and decomposes quickly when exposed to light, it is a great organic insecticide.

Please note that cuttings are wrapped in wet newspaper, with no roots, in a small amount of soil. If you are not confident at striking cuttings you should purchase the adult plant. You will receive three cuttings that need to be put 4cm deep into wet soil as soon as possible.