Tansy Seedlings

The Tansy beetle is a large iridescent green beetle, found in Britain only along a 30 mile stretch of the River Ouse, centred on York. It used to be more widespread, but has gradually died out elsewhere. The tansy plant, on which it depends for food, has become scarcer due to grazing by livestock and crowding out by invasive Himalayan balsam. The Tansy Beetle Action Group (TBAG) coordinates tansy beetle conservation.

To help the beetles out a bit, last year I grew and planted out tansy plants and removed Himalayan balsam along a half-mile stretch of the river bank, just south of York. For this year’s crop of tansy, I collected seed from plants along the river bank last October and sowed the first of them at the end of January. I now have trays of tiny seedlings which will soon be ready to transfer to larger plug plant trays.

A new crop of tansy plants

The stunning tansy beetle

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