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Scented Mayweed

Matricaria chamomilla

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Also in this family:
Alpine Blue Sow-thistle, Alpine Cotula, Alpine Fleabane, Alpine Saw-wort, Annual Ragweed, Annual Sunflower, Argentine Fleabane, Autumn Hawkbit, Autumn Oxeye, Beaked Hawksbeard, Beggarticks, Bilbao Fleabane, Black Knapweed, Black-eyed Susan, Blanketflower, Blue Fleabane, Blue Globe-thistle, Bristly Oxtongue, Broad-leaved Cudweed, Broad-leaved Ragwort, Brown Knapweed, Butterbur, Buttonweed, Cabbage Thistle, Canadian Fleabane, Canadian Goldenrod, Carline Thistle, Chalk Knapweed, Chamois Ragwort, Changing Michaelmas Daisy, Chicory, Chinese Mugwort, Chinese Ragwort, Coltsfoot, Common Blue Sow-thistle, Common Cat's-ear, Common Cudweed, Common Daisy, Common Dandelion, Common Fleabane, Common Goldenrod, Common Groundsel, Common Michaelmas Daisy, Common Mugwort, Common Ragwort, Common Wormwood, Coneflower, Confused Michaelmas Daisy, Corn Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Cotton Thistle, Cottonweed, Creeping Thistle, Daisy Bush, Dwarf Cudweed, Dwarf Thistle, Early Goldenrod, Eastern Groundsel, Eastern Leopardsbane, Elecampane, English Hawkweed, Fen Ragwort, Feverfew, Field Fleawort, Field Wormwood, Fox and Cubs, French Tarragon, Gallant Soldier, Garden Lettuce, Giant Butterbur, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed, Glandular Globe-thistle, Glaucous Michaelmas Daisy, Globe Artichoke, Globe-thistle, Goat's Beard, Golden Ragwort, Golden Samphire, Goldilocks Aster, Grass-leaved Goldenrod, Great Lettuce, Greater Burdock, Greater Knapweed, Grey-headed Hawkweed, Guernsey Fleabane, Hairless Blue Sow-thistle, Hairless Leptinella, Hairy Michaelmas Daisy, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Heath Cudweed, Heath Groundsel, Hemp Agrimony, Highland Cudweed, Hoary Mugwort, Hoary Ragwort, Hybrid Knapweed, Intermediate Burdock, Irish Fleabane, Jersey Cudweed, Jerusalem Artichoke, Lance-leaved Hawkweed, Lavender-cotton, Leafless Hawksbeard, Least Lettuce, Leopardplant, Leopardsbane, Leptinella, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Hawkbit, Lesser Sunflower, London Bur-marigold, Magellan Ragwort, Marsh Cudweed, Marsh Hawksbeard, Marsh Ragwort, Marsh Sow-thistle, Marsh Thistle, Meadow Thistle, Melancholy Thistle, Mexican Fleabane, Milk Thistle, Mountain Everlasting, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Musk Thistle, Narrow-leaved Cudweed, Narrow-leaved Hawkweed, Narrow-leaved Michaelmas Daisy, Narrow-leaved Ragwort, New England Hawkweed, New Zealand Holly, Nipplewort, Nodding Bur-marigold, Northern Hawksbeard, Norwegian Mugwort, Oxeye Daisy, Oxford Ragwort, Pearly Everlasting, Perennial Cornflower, Perennial Ragweed, Perennial Sow-thistle, Perennial Sunflower, Pineapple Mayweed, Plantain-leaved Leopardsbane, Ploughman's Spikenard, Plymouth Thistle, Pontic Blue Sow-thistle, Pot Marigold, Prickly Lettuce, Prickly Sow-thistle, Purple Coltsfoot, Rayed Tansy, Red Star Thistle, Red-seeded Dandelion, Red-tipped Cudweed, Robin's Plantain, Roman Chamomile, Rough Cocklebur, Rough Hawkbit, Rough Hawksbeard, Russian Lettuce, Safflower, Salsify, Saw-wort, Scentless Mayweed, Sea Aster, Sea Mayweed, Sea Wormwood, Seaside Daisy, Shaggy Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shaggy Soldier, Shasta Daisy, Shetland Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shrub Ragwort, Sicilian Chamomile, Silver Ragwort, Slender Mugwort, Slender Thistle, Small Cudweed, Small Fleabane, Smooth Cat's-ear, Smooth Hawksbeard, Smooth Sow-thistle, Sneezeweed, Sneezewort, Spear Thistle, Spotted Cat's-ear, Spotted Hawkweed, Sticky Groundsel, Stinking Chamomile, Stinking Hawksbeard, Tall Fleabane, Tall Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Tansy, Thin-leaved Sunflower, Treasureflower, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, White African Daisy, White Butterbur, White Buttons, Willdenow's Leopardsbane, Winter Heliotrope, Wood Burdock, Wood Ragwort, Woody Fleabane, Woolly Thistle, Yarrow, Yellow Chamomile, Yellow Fox and Cubs, Yellow Oxeye, Yellow Star Thistle, Yellow Thistle, York Groundsel
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Fields, lawns, roadsides, wasteland.

White, many petals
Daisy-like flowers, smaller than Scentless Mayweed, up to 2.5cm. Greenish-white bracts which often fold backwards to give the flower the look of a shuttlecock. Hole inside the flowerhead.
Elliptical, 4 to 5 ridged, long achene (seed).
Alternate, feathery leaves. Pinnate. Smooth, thread-like leaflets. Short-stalked or not stalked at all.
Scented when crushed between the fingers but more noticable on warm, dry days.
Other Names:
German Chamomile, Wild Chamomile.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Matricaria chamomilla, also known as German chamomile, is an annual herb native to Europe and Asia. It is known for its small, white and yellow, daisy-like flowers that have a strong apple-like scent. The plant prefers full sun and well-drained soil, and can grow up to 2-3 feet tall. It is often used as a medicinal herb, and can be used in teas, capsules, and as an essential oil. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and mild sedative properties. German chamomile is also commonly used to treat skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and as a soothing agent for minor burns, cuts, and insect bites.


Scented Mayweed, also known as German Chamomile or Matricaria chamomilla, is a beautiful and fragrant herb that has been used for centuries for medicinal and culinary purposes. The plant is native to Europe and Asia but has since been introduced to other parts of the world, including North America.

Appearance and Characteristics

Scented Mayweed grows to a height of about 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 cm) and has daisy-like flowers that bloom from May to August. The flowers are typically white with a yellow center and have a pleasant, apple-like scent. The leaves are finely divided and feathery, and the stem is smooth and slightly hairy.


Scented Mayweed is primarily known for its medicinal properties. It has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including stomach cramps, indigestion, anxiety, and insomnia. The plant contains a number of active compounds, including chamazulene and bisabolol, which have anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and sedative properties.

Scented Mayweed can also be used in culinary applications. The flowers and leaves can be used to make tea, which has a sweet, floral flavor. The tea is often used to aid digestion and promote relaxation. Scented Mayweed can also be used to flavor soups, stews, and other dishes.

Growing and Cultivation

Scented Mayweed is a hardy plant that can grow in a variety of soils and conditions. It prefers full sun but can also tolerate partial shade. The plant can be propagated from seeds or cuttings, and it is easy to grow in a garden or container. Scented Mayweed should be watered regularly, but care should be taken not to overwater as the plant is susceptible to root rot.

Health Benefits of Scented Mayweed

Scented Mayweed is known for its numerous health benefits. Some of the benefits of Scented Mayweed include:

  1. Promotes relaxation: Scented Mayweed tea is known for its calming effect on the body, which can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.

  2. Treats digestive problems: Scented Mayweed tea has been traditionally used to treat digestive problems such as bloating, gas, and stomach cramps.

  3. Reduces inflammation: The active compounds in Scented Mayweed, such as chamazulene and bisabolol, have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the body.

  4. Supports healthy skin: Scented Mayweed tea has been used topically to soothe skin irritations, such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne.

  5. Reduces menstrual cramps: Scented Mayweed tea is a natural remedy for menstrual cramps and can help reduce pain and discomfort associated with menstruation.

  6. Promotes sleep: Scented Mayweed tea is a natural sedative that can help promote sleep and improve sleep quality.

Culinary Uses of Scented Mayweed

Scented Mayweed can be used in a variety of culinary applications. Some of the ways in which Scented Mayweed is used in cooking include:

  1. Infusing tea: Scented Mayweed tea is a popular drink in many cultures and is often used for its health benefits and sweet, floral flavor.

  2. Flavoring soups and stews: Scented Mayweed can be added to soups and stews to add a sweet, floral flavor.

  3. Baking: Scented Mayweed can be added to baked goods, such as cakes and muffins, to add flavor and aroma.

  4. Salads: Scented Mayweed can be added to salads for a pop of color and flavor.

In conclusion, Scented Mayweed is a versatile herb that has been used for centuries for its medicinal and culinary properties. Whether you are looking to treat a specific ailment or add a sweet, floral flavor to your dishes, Scented Mayweed is a wonderful addition to any herb garden or kitchen.

Facts about Scented Mayweed

Here are some additional interesting facts about Scented Mayweed:

  1. The name "chamomile" is derived from the Greek words "chamos" meaning ground and "milos" meaning apple. This refers to the plant's apple-like scent.

  2. Scented Mayweed is a member of the Asteraceae family, which includes daisies, sunflowers, and asters.

  3. Scented Mayweed is closely related to Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), another popular herb known for its calming properties.

  4. Scented Mayweed is an annual plant, which means that it completes its life cycle in one growing season.

  5. Scented Mayweed is a natural insect repellent and can be used to keep pests away from gardens and outdoor spaces.

  6. Scented Mayweed is commonly used in traditional medicine in many parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, and Africa.

  7. Scented Mayweed has been used in traditional medicine to treat a wide range of ailments, including skin disorders, respiratory infections, and menstrual problems.

  8. The plant has a long history of use in aromatherapy and is often used in essential oil blends for its calming and soothing properties.

  9. Scented Mayweed is commonly used in the production of herbal teas, which are enjoyed for their soothing properties and delicate flavor.

  10. The plant's flowers are often used to make a yellow dye that has been used in traditional textile production.


Scented Mayweed filmed at 2 separate locations in Lancashire:
  1. Horwich: 23rd July 2023
  2. Adlington: 14th June 2022


Music credits
Acoustic Guitar 1 by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

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Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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