Anthemis cotula L     


Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)






Dog Mayweed  


                                           June Photo


Plant Characteristics:  Ill-smelling annual, 1-5 dm. high, +/- branched, subglabrous; lvs. mostly 2-6 cm. long, 2-3 pinnatifid into very narrow segms.; heads rather many, short-peduncled, 1.5-2 cm. across; phyllaries +/- 2.5 mm., +/- pointed, green, margins scabrous, pale brown; rays white, 5-11 mm. long, sterile; aks. subterete, ca. 10 ribbed; pappus none.


Habitat:  Common weed in waste places, fields, etc.; much of Calif.  April-Aug.


Name:  Anthemis, ancient Greek name of the Chamomile. (Munz, Flora So. Calif. 114).  Greek, kotyle, cup-shaped; also a plant, probably the navel-wort. (Jaeger 68).  I fail to see the reason for using this name with this plant.  (my comment).


General:  Uncommon in the study area, having been found only three times, once on the Castaways bluffs, again along the road northerly of Big Canyon, and finally at Northstar Beach.  Photographed in the first two locations.  (my comments).       Funk & Wagnalls New Comprehensive International Dictionary of the English Language. 1978.  pp. 192, describes camomile (chamomile) as a strongly scented bitter herb of the genus Anthemis, especially the European perennial A. nobilis, whose bitter, aromatic leaves are used in medicine.      If you know where you can find the mayweed or camomile, Anthemis cotula, make a hot fomentation of the flowers with water and vinegar for an ear wash when it aches. (Fielder 64).      Chamomile, Matricaria chamomilla, is indigenous to  Southern Europe; we have also a common or wild Chamomile, Anthemis cotula, growing in the United States, but it is not considered as goods as the German Chamomile for medicinal purposes.  The white flowers are the best; they have an aromatic agreeable bitter taste, and peculiar odor.  They yield their properties to alcohol and water.  Chamomile is a tonic; one to two teacupfuls of the warm infusion will usually cause vomiting.  The cold infusion is highly useful.  The oil is carminative and antipasmodic, and is used in flatulency, colic, cramp and in the stomach.  (Meyer 50).       About 60 species of Old World.  (Munz, Flora So. Calif. 114).


Text Ref:  Abrams, Vol. IV 388; Hickman, Ed. 198; Munz, Flora So. Calif 114; Roberts 8.

Photo Ref:  June 4 83 # 24E; June 5 83 # 11.

Identity: by F. Roberts.  

Computer Ref:  Plant Data 295

No plant specimen.

Last edit 9/19/02.


                                                 June Photo