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Lake Huron Tansy (Tanacetum bipinnatum ssp. huronense)

Life history

Species overview

Lake Huron Tansy (Tanacetum bipinnatum ssp. huronense), a Wisconsin Endangered plant, is found along the Lake Michigan shore, including sandy beaches, dunes, and limestone pavements. Blooming occurs late June through early August; fruiting occurs late July through late August. The optimal identification period for this species is late June through early September.

Synonyms: Chrysanthemum bipinnatum ssp. huronense, C. huronense, Tanacetum huronense, T. huronense var. bifarium, T. huronense var. floccosum, T. huronense var. huronense, T. huronense var. johannense, T. huronense var. terrae-novae


  • Distinguishing characteristics: Heads relatively large and few, disk 10 to 18 mm wide; leaves may or may not be shaggy-hairy.
  • Flower characteristics: "Daisy type" head, composed of many separate, small flowers, usually 1 to 15 heads per stem; disk floret yellow, tightly arranged in the center, 10 to 18 mm; ray flowers surrounding disk, 2.5 to 4 mm long.
  • Fruit characteristics: Cypselae (achene surrounded by calyx sheath) 5-angled, 2 to 3.5 mm long, speckled with glands.
  • Leaf characteristics: Hairy, inconspicuously glandular-dotted, deeply twice or more divided, each segment having a short, dull point; basal rosette leaves persistent, 23 to 36 cm long and 3 to 9 cm wide; stem leaves successively smaller.


  • Blooming phenology: late June through early August
  • Fruiting phenology: late July through late August
  • Optimum time to identify: The optimal identification period for this species is late June through early September


  • Growth form: Forb-erect
  • Vegetative reproduction: Strongly rhizomatous
  • Life cycle: Perennial
  • Comments: Associated Species: Cirsium pitcheri, Ammophila breviligulata, Solidago simplex, Elymus lanceolatus ssp. psammophilus, Calamovilfa longifolia var. magna, Prunus pumila, Salix spp.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

The table below provides information about the protected status - state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Lake Huron Tansy (Tanacetum bipinnatum ssp. huronense). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where this species has been found to date and is not meant as a range map.

Documented locations of Tanacetum bipinnatum ssp. huronense in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of July 2015.

Summary Information
State StatusEND
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS1
Global RankG5T4T5
Tracked by NHIY

Habitats and landscapes

The Natural Heritage Inventory has developed scores indicating the degree to which each of Wisconsin's rare plant species is associated with a particular natural community or ecological landscape. This information is similar to that found in the Wildlife Action Plan for animals. As this is a work in progress, we welcome your suggestions and feedback.

General habitat information

  • Habitat description: Found along the Lake Michigan shore, including sandy beaches, dunes, and limestone pavements.
  • Soils: Sandy soils.

Natural communities

This table lists the natural communities that are associated with Lake Huron Tansy. Scores for natural community associations are: "significant" association (score=3), "moderate association" (score=2) or the species can be present but is only weakly associated with the community (score=1).

Natural communities score
Great Lakes Beach 3
Great Lakes Dune 3

Ecological landscapes

This table lists the ecological landscape association scores for Lake Huron Tansy. The scores (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None) also correspond to the map.

Map of the Ecological Landscapes of Wisconsin.

Ecological landscape score
Northern Lake Michigan Coastal 3

Species guidance

The Endangered Resources Program has developed avoidance measures and management guidelines for plants on the Natural Heritage Working List. These are a work in progress, and we welcome your suggestions and feedback. Sources used in developing this information can be found here.

Avoidance measures

These are specific actions designed to avoid "take" (mortality) of this species.

  • Avoid broadcast spraying of herbicides; use care with spot spraying.
  • Avoid known individual plant locations and conduct operations elsewhere when they are least likely to cause damage. Ideally, this would involve frozen, snow-covered ground. However, in areas of the state where frozen conditions are unreliable, very dry soils late in the growing season might be the best available alternative. Consult with a biologist, if needed.

Management guidance

Management guidelines are additional considerations that may help maintain or enhance habitat for this species

  • Minimize disturbance to hydrology, including soil disturbance from rutting.
  • Avoid disturbance to shorelines and the forest-beach interface.
  • Avoid any activities which destabilize the dune, including the use of off-road vehicles, removal of native vegetation and pedestrian recreational overuse.


Lake Huron Tansy Photo.

Photo by  staff, Wisconsin DNR.

Lake Huron Tansy Photo.

Photo by  staff, Wisconsin DNR.

Lake Huron Tansy Photo.

Photo © Kitty Kohout.

Lake Huron Tansy Photo.

Photo © Kitty Kohout.

Lake Huron Tansy Photo.

Photo © Kitty Kohout.

Support for Wisconsin's rare plant information has been provided by the Division of Forestry, the Endangered Resources Fund and the Wisconsin Rare Plant Preservation Fund. To donate, visit the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin [exit DNR].

Last revised: Wednesday, May 05, 2021
Southwest Savanna Southern Lake Michigan Coastal Western Coulees and Ridges Southeast Glacial Plains Central Sand Hills Central Lake Michigan Coastal Central Sand Plains Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Northeast Sands Western Prairie North Central Forest Northern Highlands Northwest Lowlands Northwest Sands Northwest Lowlands Superior Coastal Plains Forest Transition