(c) Melanie Shaw
Chamomile is often first noticed when crushed under foot as it releases a distinctive, apply fragrance. The smell of Chamomile, coupled with its cushion-soft feel, made the plant so popular in Elizabethan times that herb gardens often contained Chamomile lawns and seats. Chamomile flowers from June to August and can be found along coastal cliffs, in grasslands and on commons. Here, livestock keep its natural scrambling form is well-clipped, just like in the herb gardens of yesteryear.
How to identify
As a member of the daisy family, Chamomile is a composite flower so has a daisy-like, disc-shaped flower head that consists of lots of tiny flowers in the form of disc florets (the yellow 'centre') and ray florets (the white 'petals'). Its leaves are small, feathery and much-divided.
Where to find it
Found in the south of the UK.
When to find it
How can people help
Once found throughout the UK, Chamomile is now scarce and restricted mostly to the south and south-west of England; this is mainly due to habitat loss and the decline of livestock-grazing, particularly on commons. The Wildlife Trusts are working closely with farmers and landowners to promote wildlife-friendly practices. We have a vision of a 'Living Landscape': a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country, which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.