I found this bright-white flowered plant adorning the edge of a meadow near my house in the Shenandoah Valley.
The common name, Chamomile, has an ancient history. The Greeks dubbed it chamaimelon for "earth apple," from chamai = "on the ground" + melon for "apple," because of its sweet apple scent. They valued it not only for its perfume but also as a medicinal herb. The ancient Romans also used it for its healing properties, as well for perfuming incense and for flavoring beverages, which may have been carried forward in Spain where it has been known for centuries as Mantazilla or 'little apple' and is used today for flavoring the light sherry which bears its name.
The Anglo-Saxons used it to add bitterness to beer, and it was not until hops took over that function in beer-making in the 16th century that it ceased to be used for this purpose. (See Gill-over-the-ground for another flowering herb used in beer making.)
The medicinal uses in modern times are too numerous to recount here, but as the Germans put it, this versatile herb is alles zutrautor "capable of anything."
But for many people the plant will most often be enjoyed as a soothing cup of herbal tea!
Besides its herbal and medicinal utility this little member of the Aster family has also graced mankind as a beautiful "lily of the field" throughout the world. As the scientific suffix, nobilis, after Linneaus, indicates, it is truly a "noble" plant.