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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

Leaves - raw or used as a flavouring in soups, beer etc[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]. They can be chopped and added sparingly to salads[7]. They have a very pleasant aroma, but can be overpowering in the food if you are not careful[K]. The leaves were at one time widely used in brewing beer, before being superseded by hops (Humulus lupulus)[8]. The whole leaves can be laid in cake trays to flavour the cake whilst it is baking[7].

The flower petals are used for conserves[7].

A delicious tea is made from the dried leaves[3][9][7].

Unknown part

Leaves

Material uses

The plant was traditionally used for its insecticidal properties[10]. The dried leaves retain their fragrance well and so are used in pot-pourri[2][8], they are also used as a strewing herb[10].

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Alecost is seldom used in herbal medicine, though it does have a beneficial effect upon the digestive system[11]. The leaves are antiseptic, astringent, digestive and laxative[2][3][8]. They have been used internally as an aperient in the treatment of dysentery, and as a remedy for liver and gall bladder complaints[8]. Externally, they have been used as a salve to treat burns and insect stings[8][11]. They are considered to be virtually obsolete in modern herbalism[2][8].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

The seed is seldom produced in Britain[2]. If seed is obtained it would probably be best sown in a cold frame in early spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Division in spring or autumn[2]. Very easy, it can be done successfully at almost any time of the year. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.

Basal cuttings in late spring[K]. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 - 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Tanacetum balsamita. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

An easily grown plant, it prefers a sunny warm position[5] in a dry soil[3][12] but thrives under most conditions[2]. Tolerates a pH in the range 5.0 to 7.6.

The leaves emit a soft balsamic odour[2]. The sub-species T. balsamita tomentosum is called the camphor plant because of its camphor-scented foliage[8]. Plants produces lot of leaves but no flowers when grown in the shade[2], though this is an advantage when the plant is being grown for its useful leaves[10].

Alecost used to be commonly grown in the herb garden but it has fallen out of favour in recent times[2].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Tanacetum balsamita. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Tanacetum balsamita.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Tanacetum balsamita
Genus
Tanacetum
Family
Compositae
Imported References
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
6
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Balsamita major.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Balsamita major.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    "image:Balsamita major.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Balsamita major.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    2. ? 2.002.012.022.032.042.052.062.072.082.092.102.112.12 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.23.33.43.5 Holtom. J. and Hylton. W. Complete Guide to Herbs. Rodale Press ISBN 0-87857-262-7 (1979-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.1 Vilmorin. A. The Vegetable Garden. Ten Speed Press ISBN 0-89815-041-8 ()
    5. ? 5.05.15.2 Larkcom. J. Salads all the Year Round. Hamlyn (1980-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.47.5 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.48.58.68.78.88.9 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.110.210.310.4 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.111.2 Stuart. M. (Editor) The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism Orbis Publishing. London. ISBN 0-85613-067-2 (1979-00-00)
    12. ? Thompson. B. The Gardener's Assistant. Blackie and Son. (1878-00-00)

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    "image:Balsamita major.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    Facts about "Tanacetum balsamita"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyCompositae +
    Belongs to genusTanacetum +
    Has binomial nameTanacetum balsamita +
    Has common nameAlecost +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partUnknown part + and Leaves +
    Has edible useCondiment +, Unknown use + and Tea +
    Has fertility typeInsects +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has hardiness zone6 +
    Has imageBalsamita major.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useInsecticide +, Pot-pourri + and Strewing +
    Has mature height0.9 +
    Has mature width1 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAntiseptic +, Astringent +, Digestive + and Laxative +
    Has primary imageBalsamita major.jpg +
    Has search nametanacetum balsamita + and alecost +
    Has shade toleranceLight shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
    Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameTanacetum balsamita +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedYes +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
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