Thursday, December 13, 2018
   
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African Chamomile

Cape Mountain Oil's signature essential oil is the indigienous, azulene blue AFRICAN CHAMOMILE (Eriocephalus Punctulatus).

punctulatus

African Chamomile is an indigenous oil that is becoming increasingly popular overseas and at home. When distilled at the right temperature, the azulene components of the oil are developed and the oil displays a beautiful deep blue colour that makes it so distinctive.  On the nose, the oil is very floral but complex, with both top and bottom notes evident. It has a powerful and distinctive aroma, both on the plant and after stilling.

punctulatus oil

The plants are not easy to propagate or put into production. Mortality as seedlings is high and like all fynbos-related plants, the balance of food and irrigation is a difficult one to get right. Mortality with over-watering is high and like all Eriocephalus, the plants develop thicker but unproductive growth with excessive moisture. Over-harvesting results in die back on plants and the timing of harvesting is critical. 

eriocephalus punctulatus

We harvest only once a year, in August, when the plants are in mid-flower and are still in a winter growth phase.  If harvesting is left too long, the growth phase is shortened and the summer sun and cause damage to under-grown plants. Flowering is a prolific show of 'kapokbos' type white flowers, much loved by bees and a variety of insects.   Because of the high value of the oil and the sensitivity of the plants, we harvest entirely by hand.


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