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PlantFiles: Chamomile Lawn, Roman Chamomile
Chamaemelum nobile

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Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Chamaemelum (kam-AY-mel-um) (Info)
Species: nobile (no-BIL-ee) (Info)

Synonym:Anthemis nobilis

9 vendors have this plant for sale.

34 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Groundcovers
Herbs
Perennials

Height:
6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

Spacing:
3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:
Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer

Foliage:
Aromatic

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By Weezingreens
Thumbnail #1 of Chamaemelum nobile by Weezingreens

By cristygolden
Thumbnail #2 of Chamaemelum nobile by cristygolden

By Gabrielle
Thumbnail #3 of Chamaemelum nobile by Gabrielle

By Gabrielle
Thumbnail #4 of Chamaemelum nobile by Gabrielle

By growin
Thumbnail #5 of Chamaemelum nobile by growin

Profile:

5 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive northwestnative On Jul 11, 2012, northwestnative from Port Angeles, WA wrote:

This Roman Chamomolie came back and looks lovely after a tough winter with several feet of snow. It was sewn last season by seed, and bloomed nicely last year, but has not bloomed yet this season. It appears to be "trying" to bloom but is yellowing on the inside at its base and I wonder why. I cannot remember it doing this last year. I will be trying an organic fertilizer and will report back with before and after photos if possible.

Neutral herbella On Feb 27, 2012, herbella from Albuquerque, NM wrote:

Few things are invasive in this High Desert region of New Mexico where water is so scarce, but once you plant this herb, it shows up in the lawn and everywhere. However, it smells so nice, has such pretty flowers in spring, has low water requirements, and looks so green in January through March (when nothing else does) that I have decided to let it take over the front lawn.

Positive grovespirit On Apr 14, 2009, grovespirit from Sunset Valley, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have grown Roman Chamomile for many years. Delighted with its shade tolerance, fragrance, adaptability to various soils, low space requirements, and medicinal uses.

Also, in my gardens, has been much easier to keep going from year to year than annual German Chamomile. :)

Because Roman Chamomile is perennial, it will stay alive for several years in frost-free zones, even after it flowers. This allows many more crops of flowers to be harvested from this vs. the German kind that dies soon after flowering.

Also, in zones with some frost, Roman Chamomile tends to come back from the roots in Spring, even if no seeds fell to the ground. This is nice in my experience because it keeps me from having to replant. I have not had good luck with getting German Chamomile to self-sow year after year, inevitably I'd need to replant it.

Roman Chamomile is supposed to have foliage that is very similar to that of German Chamomile. Weezingreens' photo is correct.

In my opinion, the pics submitted above by DonnaA2Z appear to be out of place in Plantfiles. Will someone who works for DG please move them, thanks. :)

I believe the plant and foliage pics shown by DonnaA2Z are actually Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium). Feel free to compare DonnaA2Z's pics to the pics in the Plantfiles for Feverfew and decide for yourself.

In my experience, some herb plant vendors, seed traders, and herb seed vendors tend to mislabel Feverfew as 'Roman chamomile.' Feverfew does share some medicinal uses with Chamomile, and has a very similar flower. All of this can and does easily lead to confusion between Roman Chamomile and Fevervew.

My Botanical Herbology instructor taught me many years ago, that the 'fluffy mounding foliage' shown by DonnaA2Z is the giveaway which distinguishes Feverfew from Chamomile.

I learned that Chamomile, whether Roman or German, is not supposed to have 'fluffy mounding foliage'. And I have been practicing herbalism for decades, so by now I know the difference.

I am not a taxonomist or botanist though, so I'd like the DG and Plantfiles gurus to make the final decision on whether to move DonnaA2Z's photos. :)

Positive DonnaA2Z On Apr 28, 2008, DonnaA2Z from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

The photos shown here of the Roman Chamomile appear to look more like the German Chamomile that I grow. Any how, the Roman Chamomile that I have is a perennial and is fluffy in growth. The blooms appear almost exactly like the German variety, except the German variety's pedal turn downward towards the end of the blooms cycle... the Roman Chamomile does not do this. I am posting pictures that I have of the variation I have for clarification.

Positive happyscientist On Sep 2, 2007, happyscientist from Fairmont, WV wrote:

I love this plant and am in the process of replacing my front lawn with it. It grows well in my heavy clay soil, spreading to fill in gaps and blocking out most weeds. The thick, evergreen (zone 6) mat also holds the soil on my sloping yard. It doesn't seem to care how much water it gets, although we do get a lot of rain here. I mow it with the deck set high every few weeks, and the chamomile responds by forming a pleasant smelling path capable of handling light foot traffic.

Neutral berrygirl On Mar 7, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Can be used as a lawn substitute and can take some mowing. It is said that the Romans walked on it, bathed in it, and used it medicinally.

Positive Weezingreens On Nov 25, 2002, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

Roman Chamomile is used as a ground cover, often between stepping stones where its downy foliage emits an apple-scented aroma when crushed. It prefers light, well-drained soil. Roman Chamomile is a marginal perennial in my Zone 3 climate, but often winters over, if mulched.

Essential oil is extracted from the blooms, preferred over German chamomile. It was used medicinally by the ancient Egyptians. It is native to Europe, the Azores, and North Africa, but can also be found in the wilds of the United States where it is believed to be an escapee from cultivation.

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Amesti, California
Miranda, California
Potter Valley, California
Susanville, California
Jacksonville, Florida
Metamora, Illinois
Independence, Missouri
Jackson, New Jersey
Maplewood, New Jersey
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Wallkill, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Conway, South Carolina
Pickens, South Carolina
Dripping Springs, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Artondale, Washington
Port Angeles, Washington
Port Orchard, Washington
Stanwood, Washington
Fairmont, West Virginia



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