Chamomile information i/ii
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Chamomile information i/ii
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Last updated 6/12/2012 12:47:02 AM. Recipe ID 7573. Report a problem with this recipe.
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      Title: Chamomile information i/ii
 Categories: Seasonings, Info
      Yield: 1 Info below
 
      1    Info below
 
                         - General Information -
  
  "If you pick up a half-dozen herb books to look up chamomile, you are
  likely to find a bewilderment of names. There's Roman (or English)
  chamomile, a perennial, and German (or Hungarian) chamomile, an
  annual. The German species might be listed as Matricaria chamomile,
  Chamomilla recutita, or Matricaria recutita. These are all the same
  plant! Roman chamomile is referred to in some sources as Anthemis
  nobilis, in others as Chamaemelum nobile. The currently accepted
  nomenclature is Matricaria recutita for the German, and Chamaemelum
  nobile for the Roman.
  
  "The word chamomile (sometimes spelled camomile, and generally
  pronounced with a long i), is derived from Greek - chamos (ground)
  and melos (apple), referring to the fact that the plant grows low to
  the ground, and the fresh blooms have a pleasing apple scent. Even at
  this level of naming, all is not clear.  Roman chamomile is indeed
  low growing, and is used for clipped lawns in England.  But German
  chamomile grows to a relatively stately 2 1/2 feet.
  
                           - Telling Them Apart -
  
  "German chamomile is a sweet-scented, branching plant whose tiny
  leaves are twice-divided into thin linear segments. The flowers, up
  to one inch across, have a hollow, cone-shaped receptacle, with tiny
  yellow disk flowers covering the cone.  The cone is surrounded by 10
  to 20 white, down-curving ray flowers, giving it the appearance of a
  miniature daisy. German chamomile is native to Europe and Western
  Asia, where it is weedy; it has escaped from cultivation in the
  United States as well."
  
  "Roman chamomile...has a spreading habit and grows only about a foot
  high. Leaves are twice or thrice divided into linear segments, which
  are flatter and thicker than those of German chamomile. Its flowers
  are also up to an inch across, but its disk is a broader conical
  shape, and the receptacle is solid. Roman chamomile also has white
  ray flowers, though a number of cultivated varieties have none at all
  and give the appearance of little yellow buttons.  There are also
  double-flowered cultivars (well-known by the sixteenth century), and
  a flowerless one called 'Treneague,' named for the English estate on
  which it was developed. Roman chamomile is native to Western Europe
  northward to Northern Ireland.
  
  "If you have a pile of dried chamomile flowers, you can distinguish
  the Roman from the German by splitting the flower receptacle open
  down the middle.  If the receptacle is solid, it is Roman; if hollow,
  it is German. You should test five or ten flowers to be sure, because
  occasionally a German chamomile flower will be solid in the interior.
  Roman chamomile has slightly hairy stems, while those of the German
  are smooth. In the live plant, the flowers of Roman chamomile sit
  singly atop the stem, while those of the German are on divided stems
  in a comb-like arrangement (known as a corymb)."
  
  Excerpted from Steven Foster's "Chamomile" article in "The Herb
  Companion." Dec. 1992/Jan. 1993, Vol. 5, No. 2. Pp. 64-65. Posted by
  Cathy Harned.
 




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Recipe ID 7573 (Apr 03, 2005)

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