Matricaria chamomilla

From Botanical Knowledge
Jump to: navigation, search

Matricaria chamomilla has numerous, and ages-old, usages, particularly as herb tea, as a natural medicine, and for pharmaceutical extracts. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-allergic, and sedative properties. It is grown commercially on all continents. Reports for New Brunswick have not been confirmed, all specimens having been redetermined to Anthemis cotula (H. R. Hinds 2000). Although the name Matricaria chamomilla has been considered to be misapplied (e.g., S. Rauschert 1974; A. Cronquist 1994; E. G. Voss 1972–1996, vol. 3), W. L. Applequist (2002) argued convincingly that the name is indeed correctly applied to the taxon described here. Among the North American material, specimens with coronate ray cypselae (var. chamomilla), or wholly without coronas [var. recutita (Linnaeus) Grierson] have been encountered but none with fully coronate cypselae (var. coronata J. Gay ex Boissier), even though synonymy under this name includes M. courrantiana, reported for Texas and New Mexico (specimens not seen). The varieties may not be worth recognizing (Applequist; Q. O. N. Kay 1976) and are not treated formally here.