Costmary (Tanacetum balsamita)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Costmary
Give a thumbs up Alecost
Give a thumbs up Bible Leaf
Give a thumbs up Mint Geranium

Botanical names:
Tanacetum balsamita Accepted
Balsamita major Synonym
Chrysanthemum majus Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Soil pH Preferences: Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5a -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9a
Plant Height: 2 to 3 feet or more
Plant Spread: 2 to 3 feet
Leaves: Fragrant
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: White
Other: Daisy-like, white ray with yellow center; sometimes the white ray petals are not present.
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Summer
Underground structures: Taproot
Uses: Culinary Herb
Salad greens
Edible Parts: Leaves
Eating Methods: Tea
Culinary Herb/Spice
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Propagation: Other methods: Division

High Summer -- going gangbusters with other herbs intertwined

Photo gallery:

Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Jan 26, 2013 6:47 AM

You can plant Costmary near outdoor dog pens and around the house to help repel fleas; it is known to repel moths as well as fleas.

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Posted by tabbycat (Youngsville, LA - Zone 9b) on Jul 19, 2018 9:08 AM

I bought a plant of this in May 2018 after wanting it for years so that I could use the large fragrant leaves as bookmarks and potpourri. It has grown well in a pot on my patio in sun for 3/4 of the day. I do water it every other day as it seems to prefer a slightly moist soil. The leaves grow to 7 inches and are as fragrant as I'd always heard. I read it will make small flowers in the fall, so I'll try to collect seeds to share.

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