Dune Tansy Revisited

Dune Tansy (Tanacetum bipinnatum ssp. huronense)
Dune Tansy (Tanacetum bipinnatum ssp. huronense) can be found along the edge of the beach at Schooner Cove in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

While out at Schooner Cove last week I decided to check out the small sand dunes for a number of dune plants. It was here at the top of the beach that I found two species of Searocket (Cakile sp.) as well as some interesting Silver Burweed (Ambrosia chamissonis) which show some variation in leaf shape.

A plant that I know can be found at Schooner Cove is the yellow listed Dune Tansy (Tanacetum bipinnatum ssp. huronense) and as I walked back toward my vehicle at the Incinerator Rock parking lot I kept an eye open for its yellow flowers and somewhat yarrow-like leaves.

Dune Tansy (Tanacetum bipinnatum ssp. huronense) Leaf
The leaf of Dune Tansy (Tanacetum bipinnatum ssp. huronense) looks a little like a Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) leaf.

On a previous visit back in 2006 I had found a couple of plants but there seemed to be more in bloom this year and it was common along the shoreline from Schooner Cove well around to the beginning of Long Beach. I haven’t seen this plant elsewhere in the Long Beach Unit of Pacific Rim National Park and it would be interesting to know if it does grow in other locations.

Dune Tansy (Tanacetum bipinnatum ssp. huronense) Flower
Dune Tansy (Tanacetum bipinnatum ssp. huronense) has yellow flower heads composed of both ray flowers and disc flowers.

Dune Tansy is beautiful plant and has a lovely aroma of camphor, especially when the leaves are crushed. The leaves have a delicate fern-like look to them and are intricately divided. The yellow flowers are disc-like but have an outer ring of ray flowers that serve to distinguish  it from the superficially similar Common Tansy (T. vulgare). For those interested in comparing the two plants, my post “A Tale of Two Tansies” gives an overview of the similarities and differences.

Pollinators on Dune Tansy (Tanacetum bipinnatum ssp. huronense)
These insects were common on Dune Tansy (Tanacetum bipinnatum ssp. huronense).

It was great to revisit this vulnerable plant and to see it doing so well at Schooner Cove. I’m definitely going to look for it elsewhere in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.


  1. You really have a telent to make images out of small flowers! Always a pleasure to read your post and admire your images. If i ever go back in your region i won’t look at plants the same way!

  2. I think I have tansy growing in my garden but it never blooms . Could it be something else?

  3. Well, it likely isn’t the native dune tansy since that has very specific requirements. The weedy tansy should bloom… maybe it is something else.

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