Tanacetum vulgare 'Isla Gold'
Common Name: gold leaf tansy
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful, Fragrant
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Erosion


Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Appreciates some afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Prefers moist, humusy soils where it can rapidly spread by rhizomes, but well-tolerates dry conditions where its spreading habit is more restrained. Shear off spent flowers immediately after bloom in order to control any unwanted self-seeding. Some gardeners believe the flowers detract from the attractive foliage and accordingly prefer to shear off the flowering stems as soon as they arise.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Tanacetum vulgare (tansy) is a rhizomatous, weedy perennial with aromatic, fern-like foliage. It typically grows 1-3' tall. It is native to Europe and Asia, but has escaped gardens and naturalized along roadsides, railroads, waste areas and along streams throughout much of North America. 'Isla Gold' (sometimes called gold leaf tansy) is a somewhat less weedy cultivar which is basically grown in gardens for its attractive golden foliage. It typically grows 1-2' tall and features finely-cut, fern-like, pinnate leaves which are bright gold. Foliage is fragrant when bruised or crushed, but less so than the species. Button-like, yellow flowers (composites with ray flowers absent) appear above the foliage in summer in compact, flat-topped clusters (corymbs) somewhat reminiscent of yarrow.


No serious insect or disease problems. Spider mites can be a problem in some areas. Can be very aggressive in optimum growing conditions.

Garden Uses

Naturalized areas or cottage gardens where it can be allowed to freely self-seed and spread. May be used in border fronts as long as spent flowers are promptly deadheaded.