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Matricaria chamomilla (Chamomile)

One of the plants growing naturally and abundantly on my allotment plot is this white and yellow flower with feather leaves. Could it be chamomile? Initially, I thought it might be corn chamomile (Anthemis arvensis) but, having brought a sample home and looked more closely alongside various reference books, I’m leaning towards it being Matricaria chamomilla instead, also known as scented mayweed and the source of most commercial chamomile tea.

It certainly has a chamomile smell and hasn’t promoted any allergic reaction with general handling. I’ve taken the next step of washing a flower and rubbing it on my lips and that also seems clear. The next step will be ingesting a small amount and, if that also has no side effects, I’ll try dehydrating some of the flowers and making a brew.

If it does turn out to be plain old edible chamomile, then rather than weeding it out, I’ll weed around it and it will become my first crop on the new plot!

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