Chamomile


#1

I’ve grown a generic german chamomile in my garden for decades, letting it self sew and grow wherever it is or transplant to a more convenient spot. I harvest blossoms to include in my herb tea for me, and the plant to make a drench for the greenhouse to prevent damping off. It’s rather strong - don’t want to leave it to steep very long for drinking. But i’d never considered there being a better flavored option.

But last year i wanted to get some more chamomile growing in a different spot in my expanded orchard area so i bought some new seed (from Fedco) with a name of Bodegold. It grew well, nice plant. But the treat was when i dried the flowers for tea. It’s wonderful! I love just opening the jar and smelling the dried flowers. It reminds me of something but i can’t think what it is. Very pleasant. And the flavor is equally nice and pleasant. So much more refined you could say. Anyway, if you’re interested in a nice tea chamomile i can recommend Bodegold. Sue


#2

Interesting. What do you drink it for? I understand it’s good for relaxing.

You talk about using it for damping off, as in the malady that kills veggie sprouts like tomatoes and peppers?


#3

Chamomile can refer to:

  1. Chamaemelum nobile
  2. Matricaria chamomilla

The former is typically what is present in commercial teas. The latter is true German Chamomile with the properties often quoted in herbal medicine. Here is a summary of the latter from Holly Phaneuf’s “Herbs Demystified”:


#4

Horrid persistent weed


#5

Haha, Richard the “herbologist”
Sorry, couldn’t resist.


#6

My hot beverage of choice is herb tea so I make a large batch in the fall. It’s a mix of mostly mint, plus lemon balm, clover blossoms, fireweed leaves. Sometimes a few others but that’s pretty much it. Some calendula petals or johnny-jump-ups or such are nice visually. If I feel a bit under the weather I’ll add a bit of yarrow. I keep the chamomile separate since it doesn’t stay mixed as well, plus I’d have it if I needed it in the greenhouse.

Yes, I use it as an anti-fungal in the greenhouse. Mostly for damping-off (yes, I assume it’s the “malady that kills veggie sprouts” you mention). If I see any bit of mold on the surface I mist or water everything with chamomile tea. I usually do it at least once anyway. This winter I had mildew in my lettuce and I sprayed several times with a strong chamomile tea and that helped.

I grow the annual chamomile, Matricaria chamomilla, so I’m not sure if that’s what Lois refers to as a persistent weed for her. That hasn’t been the case for me but then I harvest most of it, leaving just enough to self sow for next year. Plus I have a permanent mulch garden. It did grow enthusiastically in a rather barren area I planted where we’d removed some white pines and I’d be happy if it spread out there! Sue


#7

I love Roman chamomile, or Chamaemelum nobile. Oh my, the fragrance is amazing. If I remember correctly there was an palace in England that had this as the ground cover. Walking across that would be a real treat.


#8

When I sold fruiting plants plus vegetable and herb starts I found Dr. Phaneuf’s book an excellent reference. It’s possibly still available online.


#9

I was reading about chamomile lawns the other day (my wife expressed interest in an herb garden). According to the book I was reading (Gardening with Herbs: A Practical Guide by Cathy Buchanan), there’s a kind of low-growing, non-flowering chamomile that works best for lawns. Chamaemelum nobile “Treneague” was the variety that the book recommended - I have no idea how widely available that would be here (the book was published in the UK).

It looked like a cool project, but pretty high maintenance and a bit beyond my gardening skills at the moment…


#10

For those interested in taxonomy: Chamaemelum nobile is commonly called English Chamomile, whereas Matricaria chamomilla is referred to as German or Blue Chamomile. Both are members of the Aster family, although in separate genetic subtribes. :slight_smile: