Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Matricaria recutita L., Sp. Pl. 891. 1753. M. chamomilla L., Sp. Pl. 891. 1753 et ed. 2. 1256. 1763; Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 3: 315. 1881.

Eng.: German chamomile, Wild chamomile; Guj.: Babuna; Nep.: Cambomilla; Punj.: Babuna; Urdu.: Babunah.

Herbs, annual, erect, glabrous, aromatic, ca 30 cm high. Leaves 2 - 3 cm long, 3- pinnatisect; segments filiform, slightly falcate. Heads solitary, 1 - 1.5 cm in diam., long peduncled. Involucral bracts broadly lanceolate to oblong with white scarious margins, 2 x 0.5 (-1) mm. Receptacle conic, naked, elongating in fruits. Ray florets white female, 0.8 - 1.5 x 0.2 - 0.3 cm; ligule obscurely 3-fid, reflexed at maturity. Disc florets hermaphrodiate, tubular, campanulate, 2 x 0.5 mm; limb 5-fid; lobes ovate. Achenes cylindrical, 1 x 0.5 mm, ventrally ribbed, narrowly winged along the margins. Pappus absent.

Fl. & Fr. Aug. - Sept.

Distrib. India: N. W. India, ascending in the Himalayas up to 3000 m. Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

Pakistan, Iraq, Japan, N. Asia and Westwards to Atlantic.

Notes. Sometimes the receptacle gets divided into two broad claw-like structures in populations growing on moist gravelly soils.

The flower heads and the oil obtained by distillation from the plant are used in India as a substitute for the true chammomile (Anthemis nobilis) [Duthie, J.F. (1960) repr. ed. Fl. Upper Gang. Plain 1: 433.]

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