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Botanical name

Chrysanthemum balsamita

Common name(s)

Costmary

Plant Care

Categories

Flowers

Small heads of yellow blooms, if grown in full sun, the flowers may also have an outer row of white petals.

Origin

Foliage

Oval serrated leaves that have a eucalyptus fragrance.

Soil Conditions

It thrives in nearly any type of poor, dry soil, including clay and sand.

Uses

Tea made from costmary relieves coughs and colds, stomach upsets and fevers. Add cloves and honey, "Sweet Mary Tea" for flu, bronchitis, indigestion and cramps, and all sorts of other ailments.

Interesting planting ideas

Plant alongside beans, pumpkins, radishes and nasturtiums. Break sprigs and step on them in the vegetable garden. It will scent the air and chase whitefly, aphids and even voracious beetles.

Interesting info

Costmary is an ancient herb. In the Middle Ages, it came into its own as a flavouring for ale otherwise known as alecost and as a strewing herb on which people walked to refresh and cleanse the room. It was also known as Bible leaf, as leaves were pressed between the pages of the Bible to keep moths and fish moths away, and to scent the pages of the Bible with that minty fragrance that helped to keep the congregation awake during sermons!

Pests and diseases

Diseases may include leaf spot, rust, wilt and powdery mildew. Pest may include aphids and spider mites.

Harvest

Leaves can be picked at any time.

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