Wild Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is a well-known wildflower found growing on the sides of the road and is chalky soil in early summer. Because it is a common plant, it can be found anywhere, in gardens, in uncultivated areas, on fields, on road edges and so on. It has fragrant small white flowers with yellow centres. The plants self-seed rapidly and have to checked otherwise they may become invasive. There are two main varieties of chamomile, Roman and German.
German chamomile is a delicate looking plant that is surprisingly tough. The ferny foliage tends to flop over and the tiny flowers look like miniature daisies. Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) is often used as a groundcover or creeping plant used to soften the edges of a stone wall or walkway. Roman chamomile is a perennial. The German chamomile discussed here is the annual herb used for making tea. Both the leaves and the flowers are used for tea. Some people think chamomile has a slight apple-like taste. The leaves can be more bitter than the flowers.
Chamomile has an almost wildflower look about it. The stems aren’t particularly strong and bend and flop as the plant grows taller. Chamomile can be grown in a container as a covering plant and the small, white, daisy-like flowers make an attractive contrast in a garden herb garden. Once Roman chamomile establishes itself, it is very hardy and comes back year after year. It can be planted in lawns, and makes a beautiful ground-cover. It can even be mowed and has been used in place of grass for lawn at some exclusive venues. Roman chamomile likes partial shade, but can still thrive in full sun. It is tolerant of drought, so requires less water and care than German Chamomile. Another benefit of Roman chamomile is that it can help revive nearby sickly plants.
Care and growing:The tiny seeds should be planted in small containers. Transplant seedlings 6 inches apart when big enough to handle. Keep them moist until they are established. For a lawn of English chamomile, plant the herb and keep it well watered until it is established. As the plantlets begin to creep, top-dress lightly with fertilizer to encourage spreading and matting.
Companion planting: In your garden, grow chamomile near onions, cabbages, and wheat. It is said to repel flying insects and increase crop yield. It is grown with peppermint plants to intensify the oil of the peppermint.
The chamomile stem, reaching growing up to 60 cm, is striated and ramified at its base, and each branch has flowers. The hemaphrodite flowers with their pleasant flavor, bloom from May until late August or early September. In this interval, the best harvesting period is noon. For conservation the plants are put to dry in a thin layer in a dry and shady place, after which they are kept in paper bags.
Usage: The plant has calming, analgesic, disinfecting and antiseptic, antispasmotic and tonic actions. At the same time, chamomile has an antitoxic action through disactivating the bacterian and carminative toxins, favoring the elimination of intestinal gasses. Externally, chamomile has cicatrizant, emollient and anti-inflammatory effects. Because of its antiseptic (it destroys the microorganisms from the tegument) and decongestive properties, chamomile also has many aplications in cosmetics, being recommended for irritated, damaged or fat complexions. Wild chamomile is best known for chamomile tea, a calming drink, supposed to aid digestion. The essential oil was also used in hair tonic mostly as a shampoo or hair conditioner.