Chamaemelum nobile
Common Name: chamomile
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Western Europe
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: White rays with yellow centers
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual, Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Fragrant

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best in well-drained sandy soils. Tolerates some drought. Easily grown from seed. Spreads by creeping stems that root as they go. Can be aggressive in optimum growing conditions. Best in cool summer climates. If grown as a lawn substitute, plant seedlings or divisions 6-12” apart. It can be regularly mowed as a lawn, but tolerates only minimal foot traffic.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Chamaemelum nobile, commonly called chamomile or Roman chamomile, is a low-growing evergreen perennial that forms a spreading mat of aromatic foliage typically growing 3-6” tall and spreading by decumbent stems to 12” wide. Daisy-like flowers with white rays and yellow centers bloom throughout the summer and into early fall. Finely-dissected, fern-like foliage emits a fruity scent when bruised. Flower heads may be dried to make chamomile tea, a soothing herbal tea that has been an historic folk medicine remedy for a variety of ailments including headache, colds, flu, stomach disorders and gastrointestinal disorders. Synonymous with and formerly known as Anthemis nobilis. German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is a taller plant with similar flowers that also makes a flavorful herbal tea. The name chamomile comes from Greek meaning “apple on the ground” in reference to the plant’s apple-like aroma.

Specific epithet means notable or excellent.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for possible spread.

Garden Uses

Herb gardens. Rock gardens and border fronts. Ground cover. Fill in between flag stones. Lawn substitute.