Pyrethrum refers to several Old World plants of the genus Chrysanthemum which are cultivated as ornamentals for their showy flower heads. Pyrethrum is also the name of a natural insecticide made from the dried flower heads of C. cinerariifolium and C. coccineum (from wikipedia). This is the reason I decided to add this plant as one of the member in the garden as royal bodyguards against pest in summer. Pyrethrum is a perennial plant and can be grown from seeds or division. We grow a hybrid one from seeds last year in autumn. From our experience germination is rather slow. If you sow earlier, you might get a few blooms the same year. We wait after a year for the plants to bloom like now.
Pyrethrum bud about to bloom indicating summer is just around the corner.Shadows of pyrethrum in full bloom for Shadow Shot Sunday where interesting shadows picture from all around the world can be enjoyed together.
Pyrethrum is a tall plant which can grow more than 50cm tall. At the moment, this plant is like having who are the tallest of them all in this patch competition with the climbing bean
Pyrethrum was used for centuries as an insecticide, and as a lice remedy in the Middle East (Persian Powder, also known as "Persian Pellitory"). Because of the natural insecticidal properties of the pyrethrums, they are used as companion plants, to repel pest insects from nearby crops and ornamental plants. They are thought to repel aphids, leafhoppers,spider mites, harlequin bugs, ticks, pickleworms and imported cabbage worms, among others that are in gardens and farms.
Pyrethrum spray: Coarsely grind the dried flower heads and to every firmly packed half-cup of flowers, add 1 litre of boiling water. Leave to stand until cold, strain and add 1 teaspoon of pure soap. Shake well before use. Don’t spray in temperatures over 32degree Celcius. The spray will kill bees so use it when they are not active –in the early morning or evening. Although relatively harmless to people, pyrethrum is still a poison so needs to be carefully labelled and stored out of the reach of children and pets. (from the book~ Herbs for Australian Gardens by Penny Woodward)
I have not try home-made pyrethrum yet. We don’t have any dried flower heads as yet. I would like to try it during autumn/winter when the bees are having long holidays.