A member of the daisy family (Asteraceae in Latin), the camomile plant is indigenous to southern and eastern Europe, but is the native medicinal plant throughout all of Europe today. And this includes the Black Forest, where it blooms in the garden as one of the 47 ingredients. Ranging from 20 to 50 cm in height, this perennial plant has stems that are freely branching, covered with leaves divided into thread-like pieces that give it a feathery appearance. The tiny, daisy-like flower has white rays that tightly surround the yellow centre, which resembles a sun.
Back in the day, the Germanic peoples worshipped the golden yellow-centred flower and dedicated it to their god of light, Baldur. The Egyptians sacrificed the flower to their sun god, Re. Camomile has been used as a medicinal plant since ancient times, providing relief to ailments thanks to its antibacterial, antispasmodic properties.
Legend has it that Montgomery Collins used to enjoy a cup of classical camomile tea for his breakfast every day, which helps to explain why it found its place in our unique Black Forest recipe.