State Museum of Natural History
Biodiversity Data Centre

Anthemis cotula L.

  • Maruta cotula (L.) DC.
  • Anthemis psorosperma Ten.
  • Anthemis ramosa Spreng.
Vernacular Name
Stinking Chamomile, Mather-fennel, Dog-fennel, Hog's-fennel, Dog-finkle, Dog-daisy, Pig-sty-daisy, Chigger-weed, Mayweed
Conservation status
No status defined
Value of species
Medicinal plant
Occurrence: Ab(A, N), AE(G, T), Ag, Al, Ar, Au(A), Be(B, L), BH, Bl(M, N), Br, Bu, By, Cg, Co, Cr, Cs, Ct, Cy, Da, Eg, Ga(C, F), Ge, Gg, Gr, He, Ho, Hs(S), Hu, Ir, It, Jo, Le, Li, Lu, Ma, Mk, Mo, No, Rf(C, CS, E, N, S), Rm, Sa, Si(M, S), Sk, Sl, Sr, Su, Sy, Tn, Tu(A, E), Uk(K, U), [aAu(A), nAz(C, F, G, J, L, M, P, S, T), nCa(C, F, G, H, L, P, T), aEs, nFe, aHb(E, N), aLa, aLt, nMd(M, P), nPo, nRf(K), Rf(NW), Sk] (EuroMed, 2018). A flowering annual plant with a noticeable and strong odor. The odor is often considered unpleasant, and it is from this that it gains the common epithet "stinking". In pre-colonial times, its distribution was limited to the Old Continent (though it was most of Europe, nd were not present in Finland, Ireland, and the Northernmost Scotland, both these countries with many favorable climates to this plant and to be neighbors to countries that owned this plant like native species, such example Russia, Estonia, Lithuania and England) and to Africa. It has successfully migrated to the New Europes where it can be found growing in meadows, alongside roads, and in fields. The name "cotula" is from a Greek word for "small cup", describing the shape of the flowers; it was assigned by Carl Linnaeus in his work Species Plantarum in 1753. Native Palearctic. Macaronesia: Azores, Canary Islands, Madeira Islands. Northern Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia. Western Asia: Cyprus, Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey. Caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, North Caucasus, Dagestan. Northern Europe: Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, England. Middle Europe: Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland. East Europe: Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Crimea. Southeastern Europe: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Crete, Italy, Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Sardinia, Serbia, Sicily, Slovenia. Southwestern Europe: France Corsica, Portugal, Spain, Baleares. Naturalized in Americas, Southern Africa, and Oceania. The "stinking chamomile" Anthemis cotula is so-named for its resemblance to the true chamomile plant, Anthemis nobilis; both have branching upright stems each topped by a single large flower head, although the "stinking chamomile" is distinguished by lacking the membraneous scales underneath the flowers of the true chamomile, as well as by its characteristic strong odor. The leaves of Anthemis cotula have a similar appearance to those of the fennel plant (Foeniculum vulgare), from which the name "Dog's Fennel" is derived. Anthemis cotula is an annual glandular plant with a harsh taste and an acrid smell. Its height varies from 12 inches (28 centimeters) to 24 inches (56 centimeters). The leaves of the plant sometimes have very fine and soft hairs on the upper surface, although the plant is mostly hairless. There is no leaf stalk; leaves grow immediately from the stems. The leaves are pinnate in shape, with many extremely thin lobes, and can be around 1 or 2 inches (2.5 or 5.1 centimetres) long. Each stem is topped by a single flower head which is usually around 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. The flower head is encompassed by between 10 and 18 white ray florets, each with a three-toothed shape; the florets tend to curve downwards around the edges and may occasionally have pistils, although these do not produce fruit. Beneath the flower proper, oval bracts of the plant form an involucre, with soft hairs on each; further bracts are bristled and sit at right angles to the flowers. The fruits are achenes (with no pappus). They are wrinkled, ribbed with ten ridges, and have small glandular bumps across the surface. Anthemis cotula is potentially toxic to dogs, cats, horses, and guinea pigs. Clinical signs include contact dermatitis, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, allergic reactions. Long term use can lead to bleeding tendencies.
Book reference
  • Кузярін О.Т. Судинні рослини території торфовища "Білогорща” (м. Львів) // Наукові основи збереження біотичної різноманітності. - 2010. - Т.1(8), №1. - С.75-90.
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  • Alexander KUZYARIN, Dr, e-mail:

Taxonomic branch

Asteraceae (=Compositae)