Chamaemelum nobile, commonly known as chamomile, is a low perennial plant found in dry fields and around gardens and cultivated grounds in Europe, North America, and South America. It is a mat-forming perennial boasting finely divided, aromatic leaves and masses of small daisy-like flowers throughout the summer and into early fall. The feathery foliage exudes a ripe apple scent when bruised. It has become naturalized, and a potential weed in a number of locations, and could pose a moderate risk to higher elevation, open habitats in tropical island ecosystems, although specific impacts are unclear.
High Risk Traits:
- Broad climate suitability in temperate regions
- Naturalized elsewhere (but no evidence in the Hawaiian Islands to date)
- A potential weed of disturbed areas, certain crops, and the natural environment, although specific impacts have not been reported.
- Other Chamaemelum species are invasive weeds.
- Potentially allelopathic
- Unpalatable to deer, and likely other browsing animals
- Toxic to dogs and cats if ingested.
- Tolerates many soil types.
- May cause allergic contact dermatitis to susceptible individuals.
- Reproduces by seeds and vegetatively by rooting at nodes.
- Reaches maturity in second growing season.
- Seeds dispersed by winds, possibly as a contaminant, and through intentional cultivation.
- Tolerates mowing and heavily grazed habitats.
Low Risk Traits:
- Primarily a temperate species that may only be a risk at cooler, higher elevations in tropical island ecosystems.
- Although naturalized, and reported to be weedy, it is generally valued and intentionally cultivated as an herb.
- Unarmed (no spines, thorns, or burrs)
- Grows best in high light environments (dense shade may inhibit spread)
- Seeds not reported to form a persistent seed bank.
- Herbicides may provide effective control if necessary.