Pyrethrum Daisy (Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium) Asteraceae Family
These are notes on the Pyrethrum Daisy collected from various internet sources, seed catalogs and reference books.
The Pyrethrum daisy is one of those plants that is both ornamental and useful. Not only do they brighten up the garden with their flowers also make one of the most powerful natural insecticides.
Pyrethrin is considered to be among the safest of insecticides. It is much less toxic to humans and pets than most synthetic insecticides. It is also nonpersistent and biodegradable, breaking down quickly on exposure to sunlight.. It however also kills beneficial insects and fish as well as the pests, so it should be applied with care.
Of the several species of Pyrethrum Daisy Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium has the highest concentration of active ingredients. It is the species used for commercial production.
The pyrethrum daisy is also one of nature’s strongest, most effective insect repellents.
A powder made from the dried flower will deter all common insect pests, bed bugs, cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes, aphids and ants.
The use of pyrethrum as a natural bug repellent dates back hundreds of years. First used in the Middle East, pyrethrum was frequently dried and traded on the Silk Route. As the flower’s popularity grew, it moved into Europe, where it continued to be used for its pesticidal properties. It can be found as an ingredient in many modern garden products.
The flowers grow up to 24 inches tall, with white petals and yellow centers. The most important consideration when growing your own pyrethrum daisies is the amount of sun and warmth the plants will receive. You can maximize the insecticidal value of these flowers by planting them in the warmest, sunniest spot in the garden.
When planting in your garden, this plant can be extremely effective at keeping away the pests. However, one consideration to keep in mind is whether your plants actually need bugs for pollination; planting pyrethrum daisies too close to vegetables and flowers may actually prevent pollination.
Richter’s Herbs recipe for pyrethrum insect spray:
To make pyrethrum spray, mix 1 tblsp freshly ground dried flowers with 2 qt. (2 litres) hot water. Add a little soap and let stand.
Another recipe : Pyrethrum Daisy tea insecticide for thrips and aphids
( http://www.rimkedesign.com/garden_journals/pyrethrum_tea.html )