The crop belongs to the plant family Compositeae, same as e.g. Chrysanthemum. When you look at the leaf of the plant the similarity is clear. BUT ! Where a Chrysanthemum in free nature makes a flower when the days are shortening, Matricaria reacts completely different and makes a sitting plant for the winter rest. To have the Matricaria plant stretching out and forming flowers on a stem, you need to lengthen the day. So, as soon as summer is over we need to lighten during 8 months to create a longer day period for the plant. * With Chrysanthemum it works opposite, there you need a shortened day to have them flowering, in long days they don’t.
Another difference, Matricaria needs to be sown out and Chrysanthemum are reproduced by cuttings.
Wild Matricaria originates from the Cape area in South Africa and only white, cream and yellow exists. There aren’t more colours in the genetics available. Some breeders have tried to introduce other colours in the past from several related plant families, but failed.
The seeds of the Matricaria varieties we produce are made in Costa Rica by an American company, cleaned in the USA en then young plants are sown out on trays in The Netherlands ( see first picture ) and delivered to us.
Below an extended photo impression of all production stages in growing up and processing, from transplanting until transport to the auction.
And then to the auction, location Rijnsburg of Royal Flora Holland.