Anthemis cotula Anthemis cotula Anthemis cotula

© Copyright: Images: Jouko Lehmuskallio.
All rights reserved.

Corn Chamomile

Anthemis arvensis

  • Name also: Mayweed, Scentless Chamomile
  • Family: Daisy Family – Compositae, subfamily Asteroideae
    (formerly Aster Family – Asteraceae)
  • Growing form: Annual herb.
  • Height: 20–50 cm (8–20 in.). Stem usually branched at base, short haired. Faint herb-like scent–almost no fragrance.
  • Flower: Flowers form 2–4 cm (0.8–1.6 in.) wide, single flower-like capitula surrounded by involucral bracts. Capitulum ray-florets white, tongue-like, 3-toothed at tip; disk florets yellow, tubular, small. Stamens 5. Gynoecium composed of 2 fused carpels Involucre semi-spherical, involucral bracts many rows, narrow, blunt-tipped, with membranous margins. Capitula solitary, terminating the branches.
  • Leaves: Alternate, almost stalkless. Blade bipinnately lobed, grey-green, small lobes narrow, narrowly elliptic, terminated by a short bristle.
  • Fruit: Round, 10-ridged, brown achene.
  • Habitat: Field margins, hay fields, roadsides, sometimes yards, railway yards, landfill areas, waste ground.
  • Flowering time: June–September.
  • Endangerment: Near threatened.

Three species of chamomile are more or less established in Finland. The most common and recognizable of these is yellow-flowered yellow chamomile (A. tinctoria; also known as golden marquerite). In the other species the yellow disc is surrounded by white ray-florets. Chamomiles are closely related to daisies (Leucanthemum), and corn chamomile bears a close resemblance, although its capitula are smaller, usually 2–3 cm (0.8–1.2 in.) across, and the leaves are lobed.

Corn chamomile has only established itself in southern parts of Finland, where it grows as a weed until the Häme region; further north it grows more sporadically. Cultivated land is a great boon for corn chamomile in our climate, but it can also be found beside roads and even in gardens. The species produces a large amount of seed as it starts to flower already in mid-summer and continues long into the autumn. Tens or even hundreds of capitula can mature on a many-branched plant. Like many other Daisy family members, corn chamomile has a herb-like scent, although it is quite weak.

Stinking Chamomile

Anthemis cotula

There are a couple of other plants that resemble corn chamomile, but which have more powerful scents. The extremely rare stinking chamomile grows in the village environment of Haapasaari in Kotka, and at least sporadically elsewhere in e.g. mill-yards, harbour areas and places with brisk traffic. Compared to grayish-haired corn chamomile, stinking chamomile has shades of lime green, a smaller capitulum and narrower leaf lobes, as well as – of course – a repulsive smell. Scented mayweed (Matricaria recutita), which is otherwise similar, has a pleasant aroma and its leaf lobes are round.

Other species from the same family

Follow us!

Identify species!

Sivun alkuun / Top of the page