Flowers: tiny; tubular; growing in a flat-topped umbel. Leaves: pinnately divided into linear, deeply incised leaflets. Stem: two to four feet high, branched at the top.
"Soone at Easter cometh alleluya With butter, cheese and a tansay."
In certain parts of Ireland, where customs are perhaps not as changeable as they are in this newer world of ours, we might at Easter partake in the festival with which the name of tansy has been associated, ever since the eleventh century. It then came about that tansy was made into cakes for distribution among the poor, and the figures of two charitable sisters were stamped upon them.
The medicinal properties that tansy possessed made it desirable to use at this season of the year, to purge away from the system the phlegm that had been engendered by the eating of fish during the lenten season.
"On Easter Sunday be the pudding seen To which the tansy lends her sober green."