Working together to strengthen and support noxious weed management efforts in Montana.

Common Tansy

MSU Report for the Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund Advisory Council

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013


This report for the Montana Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council was assembled in compliance with the Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund Act and Administrative Rules which require an annual report from the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station and Montana State University Extension Service on current projects and future plans. This report is a compilation of major weed science research and education activities conducted by MSU over the past three years and includes highlights of funded Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund grants as well as comprehensive reporting of all weed science research products and education funding and activities.

Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund Projects 2010–2012

  • Biological Control of Common Tansy and Oxeye Daisy, Jeff Littlefield
  • Biological Control of Invasive Hawkweed and Tansy Ragwort, Jeff Littlefield
  • Biological Control of Russian Knapweed, Jeff Littlefield
  • Biological Control of Whitetop and Perennial Pepperweed,Jeff Littlefield
  • Can Biological Control and Targeted Sheep Grazing be Integrated to Suppress Spotted Knapweed?, Jeff Mosley
  • Cheatgrass Ecology and Integrated Management, Jane Mangold
  • Continental Divide Invasive Weed Barrier Zone, Kim Goodwin
  • Establishing and Monitoring Insectaries for Yellow Toadflax Biocontrol, David Weaver
  • Herbicide Resistance Extension Information for Montana Producers, William Dyer
  • Identifying and Testing Candidate Agents for Russian Olive Biocontrol, David Weaver
  • Implementing EDRR in Montana Using the INVADERS Database, Jane Mangold
  • Integration of Pathogens, Sheep, and Herbicides to Manage Cheatgrass, Fabian Menalled
  • Missouri River Watershed Coalition Coordination, Elizabeth Galli-Noble
  • Rangeland Revegetation Revisited, Jane Mangold        Saltcedar Effects on Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities and Screening of Native Species for Restoration, Erik Lehnhoff
  • Tall Buttercup Ecology and Integrated Management, Jane Mangold
  • Weed Free Borders Protection Program, Kim Goodwin
  • Weed Management Certification Program, Jane Mangold
  • Weed Seedling Identification Guide, Jane Mangold

Download a copy of the complete report 2013 MSU Annual Report to the MNWTF

MSU Research updates

Thursday, April 12th, 2012


MSU has published a weed research update.   It includes information on the following:

  • Mechanisms driving nonnative plant-mediated changes in small mammal populations and communities
  • Wild Oat Herbicide Resistance
  • Russian olive removal and revegetation
  • Impacts of saltcedar on ecosystems in Montana
  • Sulfur cinquefoil life history in northwest Montana
  • Vegetation surveys to quantify weed threats
  • Toadflax research
  • Common tansy control in natural areas

Download the MSU April 2012 Monthly Weed Post for complete details.

Weed of the Week – Common Tansy

Thursday, August 19th, 2010


Common Tansy, photo credit: Jerry R. Oldenettel

Common Tansy, photo credit: Jerry R. Oldenettel

Common Tansy is also known as golden buttons and garden tansy.  Common tansy was introduced from Europe into colonial North America in the 1600’s as an ornamental plant and for medicinal uses.  Ironically, common tansy contains alkaloids that are toxic to humans and livestock if consumed in large quantities.  Common Tansy was first discovered in Silver Bow County in 1936.  Common tansy is a big problem in most counties on the roadsides, ditches, and waste areas.

Concerns Common tansy is unpalatable to livestock and mildly poisonous.  The presence of this weed reduces species diversity, wildlife habitat, and livestock forage.  It has a tendency to grow near water, which allows the plant to spread easily and makes control difficult.  The root system on common tansy allows the plant to spread laterally and by broken pieces of roots.

Identification Common tansy is a perennial forb that can reproduce by rootstalk or seed.  One of the most notable features of tansy is the potent smell cause by crushing the leaves.  The flowers on common tansy are yellow-orange button-like flower heads.  Flowers of the common tansy are numerous; there can be 20-100 flowers in flat-topped, dense clusters.  The leaves on the common tansy are deeply divided into leaflets with toothed margins, almost fern-like. The leaves are alternately arranged and are uniform in size.  This plant will grow between 1-6 feet tall and the stem is often a purplish-red color.

What can you do? Due to the extensive root system of common tansy an integrated management approach is necessary.  Preventing the spread of this weed into new areas is one of the easiest management techniques.  Mowing and hand-pulling has marginal results due to the root system of tansy and they are best used in combination with other controls.  Mowing and pulling will help prevent seed production.  Maintaining healthy desirable vegetation will aid in controlling common tansy.  Grazing in infested areas should be monitored closely to maintain desired species.  There are a couple of effective chemicals for common tansy.  For recommendations on those, call the weed district,

Visit the MWCA Weed ID pages for additional information and pictures of common tansy.

This series of articles was developed by Ravalli County.  If you would like to use these articles please contact Ravalli County Weed District Weed Coordinator at (406) 777-5842.

MSU MontGuide: Common Tansy

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010


Common tansy has a long history of medicinal use, but in Montana it has become a problem weed in pastures and along roadsides, fence lines and stream banks. Common tansy is a category 1 noxious weed on the Montana Statewide Noxious Weed List.

This self-learning resource from Montana State University Extension discusses the most recent techniques for managing common tansy. It is  4 pages long and ready to be printed or save on your computer in PDF format.  Click here to get your copy today.