Chamomile is a common term that is most frequently used for two distinct plants, Roman Chamomile and German Chamomile.
Both are collected and used medicinally and for the famous cup of relaxing Chamomile tea. Both have bright, sunny, daisy-like flowers with yellow centers and white petals. Both have soft delicate foliage that is pleasingly scented (thought the scents differ slightly). With both, it is mainly the flower that is used dried for medicinal use or tea.
Roman Chamomile is three or four inch high perennial that prefers cool summers. Roman Chamomile doesn’t really flower all that much, which is probably why more harvesting is done from the German Chamomile. Roman Chamomile sometimes needs to be divided and replanted after three or so years.
Roman Chamomile can be used to make a fragrant pathway or a nice aromatic surprise tucked among other garden plants. If it pushes against other plants it can get up to a foot high with bloom or it can be mowed to the ground to keep it flat.
And while Chamomile is best known for its soothing medicinal properties, some folks can be allergic or sensitive to Roman Chamomile. Those most susceptible are those who are allergic to members of the ragweed family.
Roman Chamomile is an evergreen in zones 4-8 (we are zone 7) and can be used as an aromatic thick 6″ mat ground cover. I love the refreshing smell, like green apples! The fresh flowers can be used as a garnish. Just be sure to remove the green bitter leaves under the flowers.
I cut the stems, put it in hot water and drink it in the evening. Try it. You’ll never get a better night’s sleep!