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* Edible * Deer Resistant * Native * Rare* Plants
Roman Chamomile is one of those small plants that packs a big aromatic punch. Smelling like a Jolly Rancher sour apple candy, it makes an odiferous bright green ground cover in cool summer climes. Often used in England to fill in cracks between pavers or as a path cover or even as a soft bench cover, it is sometimes referred to as English Chamomile. However, a German botanist, visiting Rome in the mid-sixteenth century, coined the term Roman Chamomile and that name was destined to stick.
The Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all used and even revered Chamomile. The Egyptians compared the sunny daisy flowers to the sun and dedicated it to their sun god, Re (Ra). The Greeks gave it the name that eventually led to the word Chamomile. They called it Kamaimelon. Kamai means on the ground and melon means apple, so you get ground apple. The Romans, who probably got it by way of Britain, bathed in it, walked on it and used it medicinally.
Roman Chamomile is three or four inch high perennial that prefers cool summers; German Chamomile is an annual that can reach two feet and can be grown almost anywhere. Roman Chamomile doesn't really flower all that much, which is probably why more harvesting is done from the German Chamomile. German Chamomile can usually be cut a couple of times during the growing season because it takes only a few weeks to make a new crop of flowers. Leaving the last crop of flowers to go to seed will help ensure the sprouting of German Chamomile seedlings everywhere next spring. Roman Chamomile also sets seed but not so prolifically. It sometimes need to be divided and replanted after three or so years.
Roman Chamomile can be used to make a fragrant pathway or a nice aromatic surprise tucked among other garden plants. If it pushes against other plants it can get up to a foot high with bloom. It can also be mowed to the ground to keep it flat. However, it is an important beneficial insect plant so leaving those flowers on may be a better choice!
5064 Milford Road, East Stroudsburg, PA
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Seth H. Richards
Locally owned and Family Operated Since 1932.
Dr. John Richards established Richards Tree Farm in Middle Smithfield, PA as an evergreen farm. Building on those roots, his Great Grandson, Seth Hastings Richards, has grown the farm into a full service Garden Center and Landscape installation business for the past 25 years. The farm specializes in Organic Gardening, Edible, Native, and Unique plants.