Scentless Chamomile is a noxious weed that is often found along roadsides and in fields. It spreads quickly along roadsides and fence lines. It can also reduce yield in hay fields, pastures and cropland. It is sometimes known as mayweed or scentless mayweed.
Scentless Chamomile has white daisy-like flowers that are 2-3 cm in diameter. The leaves are finely divided and fern-like. The leaves noticeably have no odor when crushed. Plants can range from 15 cm to over 1 m in height. Scentless Chamomile is often confused with Ox-eye daisy due to the white daisy-like flowers of both plants. They can be differentiated by the leaves: scentless chamomile has fine fern-like leaves, while ox-eye daisy has wider, notched leaves.
Scentless Chamomile Flower and Leaves
Each plant is capable of producing as many as 1 million seeds that are easily spread by wind and water. Seeds can remain viable in the soil for up to 15 years. Seedlings and young plants are difficult to see and identify. Flowering occurs between May and October.
Because of the fine leaves of scentless chamomile, it is difficult to control with herbicide applications. A selective herbicide may be necessary in the case of severe infestations. In cases where there are only a few plants, hand-pulling is the best control option. Pulling plants before they set seed will help to prevent an infestation. After pulling plants, they should be burned or disposed of in a plastic garbage bag.
Scentless chamomile can easily spread along road and railway systems, and through movement of farm machinery. Tarping or covering grain trucks will help to prevent the spread of seed along roads and highways. Cleaning farm equipment before moving to another field or area will prevent the spread of seed from one field to another.