Matricaria

Family: Asteraceae

There are about five species of annuals in this genus, most species having been moved to other genera. However, they are not often grown and are not too well known to home gardeners. Some are rather invasive and many are aromatic. They have pinnate leaves and the single flower heads are borne at the ends of branches. Named for the Latin word for womb, Matricaria was used in the past to treat female disorders. It was also used in herbal medicines prescribed for digestive ailments, fever and insomnia.

Species

M. africana (Synonym: Oncosiphon africanum) is an erect or spreading annual, to 30 cm (12 in), with daisy-like flowers.

M. aurea is a many-branched, erect or spreading annual, to around 30 cm (12 in), with yellow discs and no petals.

M. matricarioides, pineapple weed, is an erect, very aromatic annual, to 30 cm (12 in), with yellow to green discs. This species is a common weed in many parts of the world.

M. suffruticosa (Synonym: Oncosiphon suffruticosum) is a very aromatic, upright annual, to 45 cm (18 in), with bright yellow discs.

M. recutita, often known as sweet false chamomile, is an annual with small, daisy-like flowers.

Cultivation

Easily grown, these plants do best in shallow soil enriched with compost and complete fertilizer before planting. Seed is best sown in spring where the plants are to flower. Being annuals, the plants are discarded at the season's end. Dead-heading plants regularly may encourage production of more flowers over a longer period.

Climate

Zone 8 or 9.

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Masdevallia      Matthiola