Submitted by Jen Haynes
Some plants are annuals, some are biennials, some are perennials and some, like scentless chamomile, can be all three!
Scentless chamomile has flowers like a daisy. It can be distinguished from plants such as oxeye daisy by its leaves. It has leaves that are very finely divided and fern like. As the name suggests, it has no smell. A single plant can take up to a metre of area and produce a million seeds. The seeds can float on water and they can be spread by wind. It has a fibrous root system.
Scentless chamomile is designated as provincially noxious. This means that you have to control it if it’s growing on your property. This is not a plant that you want in your fields. It is not a plant that livestock like to eat. If an animal does eat it, the seeds will survive digestion so you will end up having it spread around even more.
It will reduce your crop yield even in perennial crops. It is known to be a contaminant in alfalfa seed so it is important to get certificates for your seed mixes so there is less chance of buying contaminated seed.
There are options for control. There are several weevils that have been released in B.C. which are being monitored for effectiveness. Hand pulling is effective on small infestations. There are several herbicides that will treat scentless chamomile. You can burn the seed heads. Frequent tilling will manage seedlings. For information, contact the Boundary Invasive Species Society.