Dyer’s Chamomile

Dyer’s Chamomile, ‘Cota or Anthemis Tinctoria’, is also known as Golden Marguerite or oxeye chamomile.  Dyer’s Chamomile is a hardy but weak perennial because it usually dies in the late summer of its 2nd year.  It may well self-seed itself though.  It is a sprawling yellow daisy-type flowering plant growing about a foot high, or that’s what it has done for me in it’s first year. In the 2nd year it grew much taller to 2′ high.

You can start the seeds in a tray, and they will germinate easily.  The little seedlings are pretty hardy and can be planted out when large enough to handle.  You can plant the seeds in the fall or winter, but I find that I have the best luck starting my seeds in trays where I can make sure that the soil moisture is maintained during germination.

Plants prefer full sun and regular garden soil.       

The flowers are the main dyestuff, but the stems and leaves are somewhat useful as well.  The flowers, stems and leaves can be dried and collected to use later for larger dye pots.  The dye is much more lightfast than many other yellow dyes, and gives quite a bit of sunny, bright yellow color.