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Anthemis cotula - L.

Common Name Mayweed, Stinking chamomile
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards The whole plant is penetrated by an acrid juice, touching or ingesting the plant can cause allergies in some people[4, 222].
Habitats Waste places usually on heavy soil[4, 17].
Range Most of Europe, including Britain, east to N. and W. Asia.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Anthemis cotula Mayweed, Stinking chamomile


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Anthemis cotula Mayweed, Stinking chamomile
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Summary

A strong odored flowering annual with some edible, medicinal and other uses. Easily confused with A. arvensis but it's strong smell gives it away. Common Names include: mayweed chamomile; stinking chamomile; stinking mayweed. Spanish: camomilla pudenta; manzanilla hedionda; manzanillon. French: anthemis fetide; camomille des chiens; camomille maroute; camomille puante; maroute puante. Portuguese: macela-fetida. Germany: Stinkende Hundskamille. Italy: camomilla cotula; camomilla mezzana. Japan: kamitsuremodoki. Netherlands: stinkende kamille. Sweden: kamomillkulla; surkulla.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Anthemis cotula is a ANNUAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from July to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Flies, beetles. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves
Edible Uses: Tea

The herb is used as a flavouring in Peru[183]. It is aromatic. Caution is advised, there are some reports of toxicity. A herb tea is made from the flowers in a similar way to camomile tea[183] and it has a similar though weaker effect medicinally[4]. The odour is not very pleasant and so it is not commonly used[4].

Medicinal Uses

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Antispasmodic  Astringent  Diaphoretic  Diuretic  Emetic  Emmenagogue  Stings  Tonic


Mayweed is closely related to camomile, but is far less effective as a medicine[254]. It has been used as an antispasmodic and to induce menstruation and was traditionally used to treat supposedly hysterical conditions related to the uterus[254]. It is rarely used in contemporary herbal medicine[254]. The whole plant is antispasmodic, astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue and tonic[4, 61]. It is used internally as a tea, which can be made either from the flowers or the whole plant, though the flowers are less unpleasant and so are more commonly used[4]. An infusion is used in the treatment of a variety of complaints such as rheumatism, epilepsy, asthma, colds and fevers[257]. Applied externally, it is used as a poultice on piles or to draw splinters out of the body, and can also be applied to the bath water[4, 257]. The leaves are rubbed onto insect stings[222]. Some people are allergic to the plant and this remedy could give them painful blisters[240]. This herb is contraindicated for pregnant women or nursing mothers[254].

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Other Uses

Dye  Repellent

The growing and the dried plant is said to repel mice and fleas[4, 20], it can also be used as an insecticide[21, 61, 100]. A gold dye is obtained from the whole plant[168, 169].

Special Uses

Scented Plants

Cultivation details

Prefers a sunny position and a well-drained soil that is neutral to slightly acid[1, 200]. Succeeds in heavy clay soils. Bees dislike this plant[4]. The leaves contain glands which release a most disagreeable odour when the plant is handled and can cause allergic reactions in people.

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Propagation

Seed - best sown outdoors as soon as it is ripe. Most of the seed germinates in the autumn.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Not very invasive, but aggressive growth particularly in wet, poorly-drained environments. It reduces the yield and quality of harvested crops, particularly of broadleaf crops.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Anthemis arvensisCorn ChamomileAnnual0.4 4-8  LMHNDM021
Anthemis tinctoriaYellow Camomile, Golden chamomile, Dyers' Chamomile, Golden MargueritePerennial0.8 4-6  LMHNDM01 

 

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Botanical References

17200

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