Cladanthus mixtus

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Cladanthus mixtus
Chamaemelum mixtum.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Cladanthus
Species:
C. mixtus
Binomial name
Cladanthus mixtus
(L.) Chevall. 1836
Synonyms[2]
  • Cladanthus mixtus (L.) Oberpr. & Vogt 2002, illegitimate duplicate publication[1]
  • Anthemis mixta L.
  • Chamaemelum mixtum (L.) All.
  • Ormenis mixta (L.) Dumort.

Cladanthus mixtus, commonly known as the Moroccan chamomile, is a Mediterranean species of flowering plant in the aster family. The plant is often considered a weed but is also used to gather oils that are useful for calming people down and soothing the skin.[citation needed] The oils change in composition depending on the area which it occupies.

Distribution[edit]

Cladanthus mixtus is mostly found in North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia).[3] This species has also been known to occur on the northern side of the Mediterranean (Spain, Italy, Greece, France and Albania).[4] The species is sparingly naturalized in a few widely scattered locations in North America.[5][6]

Habitat and ecology[edit]

The Moroccan Chamomile grows best in moist and rich soil, but it also has the ability to grow in soils that are more salty around the Mediterranean Sea. Cladanthus mixtus does not need extreme amounts of water as it can retain water because of its thicker cuticle, allowing the species to hold water for longer durations. Cladanthus mixtus can tolerate both warm/cool and hot environments. It is an annual plant and does not interact with other vegetation much.

Morphology[edit]

Individuals of the species Cladanthus mixtus have a yellowish to orange base with white flower petals. Stems are about 4–10 cm long and the leaves of the plant are simple and ordinary in structure but are more like branching leaves. Petals are closely arranged together next to each other surrounding the flower.

Flowers[edit]

Flowers of Cladanthus mixtus bloom only during a rainy season that provides with plant with enough water and nutrients to bloom. The plant is fully mature once the flowers bloom. The flower then dies after a rainy season and awaits the next rainy season to bloom once again.

Medicinal[edit]

Cladanthus mixtus has been used to collect certain oils to be used for perfumes and other skin products[7] that calm people down and soothe their skin.[citation needed] The whole flower is crushed up to try to extract these oils.[7] A study confirms that the Cladanthus mixtus species has different oil compositions depending on the area in which the plant is grown. In some areas the concentrations of the oils would be higher than that of the same species in different areas. In some cases the same species was found to produce oils that would not be used in mixtures of skin ointments and other products.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The International Plant Names Index, search for Cladanthus mixtus
  2. ^ Tropicos, Cladanthus mixtus (L.) Chevall.
  3. ^ USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program 2012[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Altervista Flora Italiana, Camomilla bicolore, Cladanthus mixtus (L.) Chevall. includes line drawing plus European distribution map
  5. ^ Flora of North America, Cladanthus Cassini
  6. ^ Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map
  7. ^ a b Elouaddari, Anass; El Amrani, Abdelaziz; Eddine, Jamal Jamal; Correia, A. Isabel D.; Barroso, José G.; Pedro, Luis G.; Figueiredo, A. Cristina (November 2013). "Yield and chemical composition of the essential oil of Moroccan chamomile [ (L.) Chevall.] growing wild at different sites in Morocco". Flavour and Fragrance Journal. 28 (6): 360–366. doi:10.1002/ffj.3146.

Sources[edit]