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Cotula coronopifolia

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Also in this family:
Alpine Blue Sow-thistle, Alpine Cotula, Alpine Fleabane, Alpine Saw-wort, Annual Ragweed, Annual Sunflower, Argentine Fleabane, Autumn Hawkbit, Autumn Oxeye, Beaked Hawksbeard, Beggarticks, Bilbao Fleabane, Black Knapweed, Black-eyed Susan, Blanketflower, Blue Fleabane, Blue Globe-thistle, Bristly Oxtongue, Broad-leaved Cudweed, Broad-leaved Ragwort, Brown Knapweed, Butterbur, Cabbage Thistle, Canadian Fleabane, Canadian Goldenrod, Carline Thistle, Chalk Knapweed, Chamois Ragwort, Changing Michaelmas Daisy, Chicory, Chinese Mugwort, Chinese Ragwort, Coltsfoot, Common Blue Sow-thistle, Common Cat's-ear, Common Cudweed, Common Daisy, Common Dandelion, Common Fleabane, Common Goldenrod, Common Groundsel, Common Michaelmas Daisy, Common Mugwort, Common Ragwort, Common Wormwood, Coneflower, Confused Michaelmas Daisy, Corn Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Cotton Thistle, Cottonweed, Creeping Thistle, Daisy Bush, Dwarf Cudweed, Dwarf Thistle, Early Goldenrod, Eastern Groundsel, Eastern Leopardsbane, Elecampane, English Hawkweed, Fen Ragwort, Feverfew, Field Fleawort, Field Wormwood, Fox and Cubs, French Tarragon, Gallant Soldier, Garden Lettuce, Giant Butterbur, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed, Glandular Globe-thistle, Glaucous Michaelmas Daisy, Globe Artichoke, Globe-thistle, Goat's Beard, Golden Ragwort, Golden Samphire, Goldilocks Aster, Grass-leaved Goldenrod, Great Lettuce, Greater Burdock, Greater Knapweed, Grey-headed Hawkweed, Guernsey Fleabane, Hairless Blue Sow-thistle, Hairless Leptinella, Hairy Michaelmas Daisy, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Heath Cudweed, Heath Groundsel, Hemp Agrimony, Highland Cudweed, Hoary Mugwort, Hoary Ragwort, Hybrid Knapweed, Intermediate Burdock, Irish Fleabane, Jersey Cudweed, Jerusalem Artichoke, Lance-leaved Hawkweed, Lavender-cotton, Leafless Hawksbeard, Least Lettuce, Leopardplant, Leopardsbane, Leptinella, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Hawkbit, Lesser Sunflower, London Bur-marigold, Magellan Ragwort, Marsh Cudweed, Marsh Hawksbeard, Marsh Ragwort, Marsh Sow-thistle, Marsh Thistle, Meadow Thistle, Melancholy Thistle, Mexican Fleabane, Milk Thistle, Mountain Everlasting, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Musk Thistle, Narrow-leaved Cudweed, Narrow-leaved Hawkweed, Narrow-leaved Michaelmas Daisy, Narrow-leaved Ragwort, New England Hawkweed, New Zealand Holly, Nipplewort, Nodding Bur-marigold, Northern Hawksbeard, Norwegian Mugwort, Oxeye Daisy, Oxford Ragwort, Pearly Everlasting, Perennial Cornflower, Perennial Ragweed, Perennial Sow-thistle, Perennial Sunflower, Pineapple Mayweed, Plantain-leaved Leopardsbane, Ploughman's Spikenard, Plymouth Thistle, Pontic Blue Sow-thistle, Pot Marigold, Prickly Lettuce, Prickly Sow-thistle, Purple Coltsfoot, Rayed Tansy, Red Star Thistle, Red-seeded Dandelion, Red-tipped Cudweed, Robin's Plantain, Roman Chamomile, Rough Cocklebur, Rough Hawkbit, Rough Hawksbeard, Russian Lettuce, Safflower, Salsify, Saw-wort, Scented Mayweed, Scentless Mayweed, Sea Aster, Sea Mayweed, Sea Wormwood, Seaside Daisy, Shaggy Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shaggy Soldier, Shasta Daisy, Shetland Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shrub Ragwort, Sicilian Chamomile, Silver Ragwort, Slender Mugwort, Slender Thistle, Small Cudweed, Small Fleabane, Smooth Cat's-ear, Smooth Hawksbeard, Smooth Sow-thistle, Sneezeweed, Sneezewort, Spear Thistle, Spotted Cat's-ear, Spotted Hawkweed, Sticky Groundsel, Stinking Chamomile, Stinking Hawksbeard, Tall Fleabane, Tall Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Tansy, Thin-leaved Sunflower, Treasureflower, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, White African Daisy, White Butterbur, White Buttons, Willdenow's Leopardsbane, Winter Heliotrope, Wood Burdock, Wood Ragwort, Woody Fleabane, Woolly Thistle, Yarrow, Yellow Chamomile, Yellow Fox and Cubs, Yellow Oxeye, Yellow Star Thistle, Yellow Thistle, York Groundsel
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
30 centimetres tall
Bogs, ditches, fens, floodplains, gardens, grassland, marshes, meadows, mud, mudflats, riverbanks, roadsides, saltmarshes, seaside, swamps, waterside, wetland.

Yellow, 4 petals
The flowers of Buttonweed are small and button-like, with a distinct yellow hue. They are clustered together, creating a visually striking appearance. The plant's flowering structure adds a touch of vibrancy to its surroundings, forming clusters of these yellow button-like blooms. The overall effect is a charming and unique floral display in the natural habitats where Buttonweed thrives.
The fruit of Buttonweed is composed of small, rounded seeds. These seeds are typically encapsulated within the mature flower head, contributing to the distinctive button-like appearance. The fruiting structure is modest in size and complements the overall low-growing and spreading nature of the plant. The seeds may play a role in the plant's reproductive strategy, contributing to its ability to colonize and establish in various environments.
The leaves of Buttonweed are green, fleshy, and characterized by distinct lobes. They emit a distinctive odor when crushed. The leaves are arranged densely along the stems, contributing to the plant's low-growing and mat-forming habit. This foliage, with its lobed structure, adds to the overall appeal of Buttonweed, creating a carpet-like effect in its natural habitats.
The leaves of Buttonweed emit a distinctive aroma when crushed. This fragrance can vary but is generally characterized by its unique scent. The aromatic quality of the crushed leaves adds to the overall sensory experience of encountering Buttonweed in its natural habitats. It is worth noting that the aroma may be perceived differently by individuals and can range from pleasant to pungent, contributing to the plant's distinctive features.
Other Names:
Brass Buttons, Common Brassbuttons, Golden Buttons.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Buttonweed is a type of flowering plant that is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas. It is a member of the sunflower family and is known for its small, button-like flowers that bloom in shades of yellow, white, or purple. The plant grows well in moist, well-drained soil and can be found in a variety of habitats, including gardens, fields, and roadside ditches. Buttonweed can be a pesky weed as it tends to grow aggressively and can be difficult to control. Some common methods for controlling buttonweed include removing it by hand, using a herbicide, or planting ground cover plants to prevent it from spreading.


Buttonweed, also known as Cotula coronopifolia, is a small, but persistent weed commonly found in gardens, lawns, and landscaped areas. Despite its delicate appearance, this weed is difficult to control due to its ability to spread rapidly and its resistance to most herbicides.

Buttonweed is native to Africa, but has since been introduced to many other parts of the world, including Europe and North America. The plant is commonly found in disturbed soils, and is often considered a weed due to its tendency to outcompete other plants for resources such as sunlight, water, and nutrients.

One of the main reasons buttonweed is so difficult to control is its ability to reproduce quickly and easily. The plant produces many small, yellow flowers that are attractive to bees and other insects. These insects then spread the plant's seeds, which can germinate quickly and form new colonies of buttonweed.

Another reason buttonweed is so difficult to control is its resistance to many herbicides. This is due to the plant's tough and waxy leaves, which make it difficult for chemicals to penetrate and kill the plant. Additionally, buttonweed is able to quickly develop resistance to herbicides that are used repeatedly, making it even more difficult to control over time.

Despite its persistence and difficult nature, there are ways to control and prevent the growth of buttonweed in your garden. One effective method is to manually remove the plant and its roots as soon as you spot it. This can be time-consuming, but is often the most effective way to control the weed without the use of herbicides.

Another option is to use herbicides that are specifically designed to control buttonweed. These products are often more effective than generic herbicides and are less likely to harm other plants in your garden. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully when using these products, and always wear protective clothing and equipment to minimize the risk of exposure.

In addition to manual removal and the use of specialized herbicides, another way to control the growth of buttonweed is through proper garden maintenance. This includes regularly mowing your lawn to prevent the weed from spreading, and keeping your garden well-watered to ensure that other plants are able to thrive and compete with the weed for resources.

It's also important to be proactive in preventing the spread of buttonweed by removing any flowers or seeds before they have a chance to spread. This can be done by regularly weeding and monitoring your garden for any new growth.

If you have a large infestation of buttonweed, it may be necessary to completely overhaul your garden and start fresh. This may involve removing all of the soil, treating it with herbicides, and then replanting with new, weed-free soil. This method can be time-consuming and costly, but is often the only way to effectively get rid of a large buttonweed infestation.

In addition to controlling buttonweed in your own garden, it's also important to be mindful of its spread to other areas. This can be done by properly disposing of any flowers or seeds that you remove, and avoiding the spread of the weed through activities such as composting or mulching.

Another approach to controlling buttonweed is to encourage the growth of other plants that can compete with it for resources. This can be achieved by planting native species that are adapted to the soil and climate of your area, as well as plants that have deep roots systems that can effectively compete with buttonweed for moisture and nutrients.

It's also important to maintain healthy soil in your garden, as this can help to prevent the growth of buttonweed and other weeds. This can be done by regularly adding organic matter to the soil, such as compost or mulch, and avoiding over-tilling or compacting the soil, which can create an environment that is favorable for weed growth.

Mulching can also be an effective method for controlling buttonweed. By spreading a layer of mulch over the soil, you can help to prevent the weed from germinating and growing, as well as help to conserve moisture and maintain a healthy soil structure.

In addition to these methods, there are also several natural predators and parasites that can be used to control buttonweed, such as insects and diseases that feed on the plant. While these methods may take longer to show results, they are often more sustainable and have less impact on the environment than the use of herbicides.

In conclusion, controlling buttonweed is a multi-faceted approach that involves a combination of manual removal, the use of herbicides, proper garden maintenance, and encouraging the growth of other plants. By taking a holistic approach and being mindful of the impact of your actions on the environment, you can effectively control buttonweed and maintain a beautiful and healthy garden.

30 Bonus Buttonweed Facts

  1. Scientific Name: Cotula coronopifolia, commonly known as Buttonweed.

  2. Family: Asteraceae.

  3. Origin: Native to South Africa, but now found in various regions worldwide.

  4. Habitat: Thrives in damp areas, often found near water bodies, marshes, and wetlands.

  5. Description: Buttonweed is a low-growing, spreading plant with small, button-like flowers.

  6. Leaves: The leaves are green, fleshy, and lobed, with a distinctive odor when crushed.

  7. Flowers: The button-like flowers are yellow and appear in clusters, adding to the plant's unique appearance.

  8. Growth Form: It typically forms dense mats or ground covers, creating a carpet-like effect.

  9. Invasive Species: Buttonweed is considered invasive in some regions, outcompeting native vegetation.

  10. Reproduction: Reproduces both by seeds and through creeping stems that root at nodes.

  11. Adaptability: Known for its ability to tolerate fluctuating water levels and waterlogged conditions.

  12. Ecological Impact: Can alter the composition of native plant communities and impact local ecosystems.

  13. Wildlife Interaction: While not a preferred food source for many animals, it may offer habitat for small invertebrates.

  14. Control Measures: Management strategies often include herbicides, manual removal, and prevention of further spread.

  15. Medicinal Use: In some traditional medicine systems, Buttonweed has been used for its potential medicinal properties.

  16. Edibility: While not commonly consumed, some cultures use Buttonweed in culinary applications.

  17. Drought Resistance: Demonstrates resilience in dry conditions, making it adaptable to various environments.

  18. Aromatic Qualities: Crushed leaves release a distinctive aroma that can be either pleasant or pungent.

  19. Soil Preference: Thrives in a range of soil types, including clay, sandy, and loamy soils.

  20. Erosion Control: Its dense mat-forming growth can help control soil erosion in certain areas.

  21. Allergenic Potential: Some individuals may experience skin irritation upon contact with Buttonweed.

  22. Gardening Use: In some regions, Buttonweed is cultivated as a ground cover in garden settings.

  23. Influence on Water Quality: Presence near water bodies can influence nutrient cycling and water quality.

  24. Growth Season: Exhibits year-round growth in favorable climates.

  25. Competition with Native Plants: Buttonweed's aggressive growth can lead to competition with and displacement of native plant species.

  26. Disease Resistance: Generally resistant to many common plant diseases.

  27. Urban Adaptation: Tolerant of urban conditions, making it occasionally found in disturbed areas.

  28. Folklore: In some cultures, Buttonweed may have cultural or symbolic significance.

  29. Seed Characteristics: Seeds are small, often dispersed by water, wind, or animal activity.

  30. Conservation Concerns: Due to its invasive nature, conservationists work to manage and control the spread of Buttonweed in vulnerable ecosystems.


Buttonweed filmed at Marshside in Southport, Lancashire on the 4th June 2023.


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Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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