Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 8, is a member of the large daisy or Asteraceae family. To describe the differences between chamomile and other daisy flowers, it is important to differentiate among the various species that are commonly called daisies. Among the most common garden daisies are Shastas (Leucanthemum x superbum), hardy in USDA zones 5 through 8; ox-eye types like "Maikonigen" or May Queen (Leucanthemum vulgare "Maikonigen" May Queen), hardy in USDA zones 3 through 8 and English daisies (Bellis perennis), hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8. (The American Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers; Christopher Brickell, Editor-in-Chief, 2011, p. 619)
Chamomile's 1-inch wide, daisy-like flowers consist of yellow centers containing a tightly packed array of tiny true flowers that are tubular in appearance. These prominent domed or conical centers are surrounded by 10 to 20 white rays or petals that are very slightly reflexed or curved backward. Each petal may have a slight notch at the end and appear somewhat creased. Individual chamomile flowers are borne atop stems that may be up to 2.5 feet tall. Chamomile flowers are aromatic, as is the plant's foliage. (Hortus Third; Liberty Hyde Bailey, Esther Zoe Bailey, et al., 1976, p. 718)
Sarah DeWitt Ince
Sarah Ince started writing professionally in 2007. She has written articles about many topics such as holistic medicine, nutrition, herbs and pets. Ince's articles have been published in "Boating Times Long Island" magazine and "Community Connections News." Ince is working towards a bachelor's degree and she has taken professional writing classes such as Magazine Article Writing at Rio Salado college.