Today we salute matricaria, a flower that probably doesn’t get the recognition that it so richly deserves. It’s not the first name that trips off the tongue when you’re talking about faves, and comes way down in the pecking order of floral desirability, which is a great shame because we think it’s worth a closer look. As a flowering plant, there are a multitude of varieties that are within the chamomile family, and it is often referred to as mayweed. As a cut flower, there are two types that are commonly used, matricaria baya and chamomilla.
Matricaria is typically 60cm long. The stems are extremely delicate and they are characterized by a mass of tiny buttonlike flowers that branch off the main stems and take the idea of delicate to a whole new level. The flowers are prone to damage and entanglement so care is needed to separate each flower out when you are using them. Matricaria baya yields a mass tiny button flowers in soft cream and is traditionally used as a filler flower (though at McQueens, we prefer them on their own). They are often blended with flowers considered more beautiful to increase the volume.
Matricaria chamomilla is our favourite variety and is very en vogue right now. The flower heads are essentially a mass of mini daisies that look like they been plucked straight out of a meadow. The size makes them the perfect option for wedding flowers and they are an ideal match for the casual boho bride that wants to avoid the more obvious options and eschews formality on her big day.
What’s lovely about matricaria is that they look like a classic summer flower but these beauties are available all year around. Providing you haven’t damaged this delicate flower with handling, they will last quite happily in a vase for up to a week and we suggest removing the majority of the foliage which will fade much faster than the flowers.
Matricaria might not be up there with the great names in the flower world but we think they are fabulous and delightful and are certainly worthy of a second look.