Blue chamomile is an aromatic annual plant. This herb has daisy-like flowers with drooping white ligules revealing a bright-yellow center. The flower heads bloom in summer and fall, are harvested in full bloom between March and May, and are dried before being distilled. The resulting essential oil is herbaceous, with dry notes of tobacco and hay. Blue chamomile is a wild plant that can be found throughout Europe. Cultivated in abundance in Hungary and exported to Germany for distillation, it also came be known as German or Hungarian chamomile. Blue chamomile has also existed in Egypt since the days of the pharaohs and is now widely cultivated on the fertile lands of that country.
The numerous scientific names assigned blue chamomile are the result of the great botanical complexity surrounding chamomiles in general. Thus, Chamomilla recutita is a synonym for Matricaria recutita and Matricaria chamomilla. It is considered the pharmaceutical chamomile, as it has medicinal properties identical to, but more effective than, those of Roman chamomile. Used as a treatment during childbirth, Matricaria chamomilla owes its name to the Latin matricaria, meaning matrix, the Latin word for womb.