A group of long-flowering herbaceous perennials and hardy annuals, that are good for dry and sunny situations. This traditional old garden favourite is grown for its bright daisy like flowers and pungent ferny foliage.

Family: Asteraceae (daisy)
Botanical Name: Anthemis
Common Names: Chamomile (USA), camomile (UK).

Foliage: Evergreen, finely divided mid-green/grey leaves. The leaves of some species emit a pleasant aroma when bruised.

Flowers: Daisy-like flowers, with either white, yellow or orange petals and bright yellow centres.

Flowering Period: Early to late summer (May-August).

Soil: Any moist but well-drained soil that is not too fertile. Dislikes waterlogged conditions.

Conditions: Best in full sun. Plant in an east, west or south facing aspect.

Habit: Spreading, low growing.

Type: Herbaceous perennial.

Origin: Native to Europe.

Hardiness: Hardy throughout most of the UK.

Planting and Growing Anthemis

A quick growing and reliable, mat-forming, perennial that can be used to cover a slope or fill gaps between paving. Best in a poor well-drained soil, in full sun. If the soil is too fertile the plants will become leggy and straggly, and not flower well.

Ideal for borders, gravel gardens, carpeting banks or as a filler between paving or a stone wall.

Creating a Chamomile Lawn

To make a lawn, plant A. nobilis 'Treneague' in spring, with 6in (15cm) spacing. Mow established lawns once a year. Older lawns can become patchy, so the gaps will need be replanting.

Taking Care of Anthemis

Divide and replant if dead spots appear in the crown. Tall forms will need support in exposed areas.

Pruning Anthemis

Cut back flowering stems to ground level once flowers have faded.

Pests and Diseases

Generally trouble free.

Propagating Anthemis

Divide mature clumps in spring or autumn. Alternatively, take basal cuttings in the spring.

Popular Varieties of Anthemis Grown in the UK

There are several species of Anthemis available, including the none flowering Anthemis nobilis 'Treneague', often used to create aromatic lawns.

A. cupaniana is a low spreading plant with scented grey ferny foliage and white daisy-like flowers. Height 6-l2in (l5-30cm), spread 12-18in (30-45cm).

A. nobilis (common chamomile) has finely divided, green leaves, that form a dense mat covered with white flowers in summer. Variety 'Treneague' is the best for creating a chamomile lawn. Height 6-9in (15-22cm), spread 1ft (30cm).

A. sancti-jobannis is a compact plant with grey-green, deeply lobed leaves, and bright yellow flowers in summer. Height 1.5ft (45cm), spread 1ft (30cm).

A. tinctoria (ox-eye chamomile) has mid-green lobed leaves topped with yellow flowers in summer. Height 2.5ft (75cm), spread 1.5ft (4cm).