Chamomile Chamaemelum nobile

Status Amber - Vulnerable and Near-Threatened
Best Time to See
Country England
Colour
Habitat

A small, attractive, creeping plant with daisy-like flowers and feathery leaves which have a fresh apple scent when crushed.

Distribution

It used to be fairly common in Britain, but it is now only found in a few areas of southern England, notably the south-west and the New Forest.

Habitat

500 years ago it was used for lawns, and it still prefers mown or grazed grassland in open places, such as sandy heaths, cricket pitches, coastal cliff-tops or open glades in light woodland.

Best time to see

Flowers June to July

Status

Classified as Vulnerable and is therefore considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.

Key threats

The clearance of heaths, drainage of winter-wet grasslands, loss of pastures to arable fields, and decline of grazing on commons.

Grow Wild info

Preferred site: Easily grown in both sun and shade.

Position in garden: Easily grown on moderately fertile acid soils, but will not stand excessive competition from adjacent plants. Chamomile will not tolerate heavy shade. Plants can be tried in lawns.

How and when to plant: Plant as young container-grown plants in autumn or spring into well cultivated ground. Dig in organic matter such as garden compost if the ground is especially poor, and water newly established plants if conditions are dry.

Propagation: Best propagated from semi-ripe cuttings, about 2 to 3 inches long (i.e. with firm base but soft top growth), taken in mid to late summer, and inserted into good moist soil in a semi-shade spot in the garden, or into a heated propagator. Rooting takes between 8 weeks to 8 months, depending on temperature.