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Stinking Chamomile

Anthemis cotula

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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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, Buttonweed, 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 Hawksbeard, Tall Fleabane, Tall Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Tansy, Thin-leaved Sunflower, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, 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:
1 metre tall
Fields, gardens, meadows, roadsides, wasteland.

White, many petals
Large daisy-like flowers with about 12 petals. The petals are bent backwards, giving the flower a shuttlecock appearance. Yellow disc florets. Flowers measure up to 3cm across. Pollinated by beetles and flies.
The fruits are small, wrinkly and seed-like. 10-ribbed.
Many-branched, thread-like leaves. Similar in appearance to Scentless Mayweed but the leaflets are broader. Annual.
The plant has a strongly unpleasant odour when crushed.
Other Names:
Chiggerweed, Dillweed, Dog daisy, Dog's Chamomile, Dog's Fennel, Fetid Chamomile, Flake, Hog fennel, Johnny Appleseed's Weed, Madders, Maise, Manthern, Mather, Mathes, Mawther, Mawthern, Maythic, Mayweed, Mazes, Moithern, Morgan, Morgan's Weed, Ox-eye Chamomile, Pathweed, Pigsty Daisy.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Anthemis cotula, also known as stinking chamomile or mayweed, is a species of flowering plant in the daisy family. It is native to Europe and Asia, and has been introduced to other parts of the world as a weed. The plant is known for its small, white flowers and finely divided leaves. It grows well in a variety of habitats, including fields, gardens, and waste areas. Anthemis cotula is a herbaceous plant that can grow up to 1 meter in height. It is commonly found in disturbed areas and is considered an invasive weed in some areas. The plant has a strong, unpleasant smell and is used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments.


Stinking Chamomile (Anthemis cotula) is a plant species that belongs to the Asteraceae family. It is also known as dog fennel, mayweed, and stinking mayweed. It is a native plant of Europe and Western Asia, but has been widely introduced to other parts of the world, including North America and Australia.

Stinking Chamomile is an annual herb that grows up to 1 meter in height and has yellow, daisy-like flowers that bloom in the summer. The plant's name "stinking" is due to its strong, unpleasant odor, which is particularly strong when the plant is crushed. The smell is often described as being similar to that of rotten eggs or cabbage.

Despite its unpleasant odor, Stinking Chamomile has been used in traditional medicine for its medicinal properties. It has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive problems, skin conditions, and respiratory problems. The plant contains several compounds that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antimicrobial properties.

In addition to its medicinal properties, Stinking Chamomile is also considered an invasive weed in many parts of the world. It is a hardy plant that can grow in a wide range of conditions, and it easily spreads to new areas through its seed dispersal. The plant can outcompete native vegetation and has the potential to disrupt ecosystems.

Stinking Chamomile is a plant species with a long history of use in traditional medicine. Despite its unpleasant odor, it has been used to treat a variety of ailments due to its medicinal properties. However, it is also considered an invasive weed in many parts of the world and has the potential to disrupt ecosystems.

Stinking Chamomile is a very common weed that is often found in disturbed or cultivated areas, such as agricultural fields, roadsides, and gardens. It can be difficult to control due to its aggressive growth habit and ability to reproduce quickly. In order to control the spread of Stinking Chamomile, it is important to remove it before it goes to seed and to prevent the plant from setting seed in the first place.

One effective way to control Stinking Chamomile is through the use of herbicides. However, it is important to choose the right herbicide for the specific area and to follow the label instructions carefully. In some cases, a combination of different herbicides may be necessary to effectively control the plant.

Another method of control is through physical removal of the plant. This can be done by hand-pulling the plant or using a hoe to cut it at the base. It is important to remove the entire plant, including the roots, in order to prevent regrowth. This method may be more effective in small garden or landscaped areas, but is not practical for large, widespread infestations.

Controlling the spread of Stinking Chamomile is important in order to prevent its negative impacts on the environment. It can be effectively controlled through the use of herbicides or physical removal, depending on the specific situation. With proper management, it is possible to reduce the impact of Stinking Chamomile and prevent its spread.

It's also important to prevent the spread of Stinking Chamomile by not allowing it to go to seed. This means removing the plant before it flowers and producing seed heads. This will help to prevent the plant from spreading to new areas and causing further damage to the ecosystem.

In addition, preventing the spread of Stinking Chamomile can also be achieved through the use of cultural methods, such as planting competitive crops or ground covers that will outcompete the weed and prevent it from establishing. This approach is particularly useful in agricultural or horticultural settings, where a well-established crop or ground cover can help to suppress the growth of weeds.

Another effective method for controlling Stinking Chamomile is the use of mulches and cover crops. These materials help to smother the weed and prevent it from establishing. In addition, mulches and cover crops can also help to improve soil quality, retain moisture, and reduce the need for chemical controls.

In conclusion, controlling the spread of Stinking Chamomile requires a multi-faceted approach that involves a combination of chemical, cultural, and physical methods. By removing the plant before it goes to seed, planting competitive crops, using mulches and cover crops, and using herbicides if necessary, it is possible to effectively control the spread of Stinking Chamomile and prevent its negative impacts on the environment.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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