Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Anthemis cotula
(dog fennel)

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Datasheet

Anthemis cotula (dog fennel)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 06 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Anthemis cotula
  • Preferred Common Name
  • dog fennel
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • A. cotula is adaptable to a wide range of environments. It is not a particularly invasive pest, but growth can be aggressive under certain conditions, particularly in wet, poorly-drained environments.

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Flowers and foliage of A. cotula.
TitleFlowers
CaptionFlowers and foliage of A. cotula.
Copyright©Kurt G. Kissmann
Flowers and foliage of A. cotula.
FlowersFlowers and foliage of A. cotula. ©Kurt G. Kissmann

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Anthemis cotula L.

Preferred Common Name

  • dog fennel

Other Scientific Names

  • Anthemis foetida Lam.
  • Maruta cotula DC
  • Maruta foetida Cassini

International Common Names

  • English: 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

Local Common Names

  • Germany: Stinkende Hundskamille
  • Italy: camomilla cotula; camomilla mezzana
  • Japan: kamitsuremodoki
  • Netherlands: stinkende kamille
  • Sweden: kamomillkulla; surkulla

EPPO code

  • ANTCO (Anthemis cotula)

Summary of Invasiveness

Top of page A. cotula is adaptable to a wide range of environments. It is not a particularly invasive pest, but growth can be aggressive under certain conditions, particularly in wet, poorly-drained environments.

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Asterales
  •                         Family: Asteraceae
  •                             Genus: Anthemis
  •                                 Species: Anthemis cotula

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page Anthemis cotula was originally described by Linnaeus (1753). Other names for this species include Anthemis foetida Lam., Maruta cotula (L.) DC, and Maruta foetida Cass. A. cotula L. is by far the most common Latin name used for this species, with other references being rare.

Anthemis is considered to be derived from the Greek word anthemon, 'flower', in reference to its profuse blooming. Cotula is from the Greek word kotule meaning 'a small cup' and referring to a hollow at the base of the amplexicaule leaves.

Description

Top of page A. cotula is a more or less branched, usually subglabrous, ill-smelling annual, mostly 10-60 cm tall: leaves mostly 2-6 cm long, twice or thrice pinnatifide, with very narrow segments; capitula more or less numerous, short-pedunculate at the ends of the branches, the disk mostly 5-10 mm wide, becoming ovoid or short-cylindric at maturity; involucre sparsely villous; rays mostly 10-20, white, sterile and usually neutral, 5-11 mm long; receptacle chaffy only toward the middle, its firm, narrow, subulate bracts tapering to the apex; achenes subterete, about 10-ribbed, glandular-tuberculate; no pappus (Hitchcock and Cronquist, 1973).

A. cotula is very phenotypically plastic, with plants of a wide range of size and habit being observed in any large population within a varied environment, such as a farm field (Kay, 1971). Non-adaptive morphological variation within populations is also common. Example of these variations includes shape and size of ray-florets, morphology of involucral bracts, and the distribution and width of the receptacular bracts. A. cotula is largely self-infertile, which is thought to result in much genetic diversity between and within populations. However, little work has been done on the genetics of Anthemis species to date.

Plant Type

Top of page Annual
Broadleaved
Herbaceous
Seed propagated

Distribution

Top of page A. cotula is generally thought to be widespread and naturalized throughout most areas with temperate or Mediterranean climates in both the northern and southern hemispheres. A native of the Mediterranean region, its distribution has extended northwards to Scandinavia, southwards to the Atlas Mountains, Morocco and the Canary Islands, and includes Egypt and Western Asia. It has been introduced to the USA, Canada, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand. More recent reports indicate its presence in eastern Asia and expansion within South America (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2003a). In most regions where it is present, it is described as being locally common in arable lands, farmyards, and disturbed sites (Kay, 1971).

A. cotula has been reported to occur from sea-level (Kay, 1971) to altitudes as high as 1640 m (Willkomm and Lange, 1870). Climate and soil type is more important than altitude in determining its occurrence.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

ArmeniaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2003
AzerbaijanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2003
ChinaPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2003b
-HeilongjiangPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2003b
-JilinPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2003b
-LiaoningPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2003b
-Nei MengguPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2003b
Georgia (Republic of)PresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2003
IranPresentNativeHolm et al., 1979; USDA-ARS, 2003
IraqPresentNativeHolm et al., 1979; USDA-ARS, 2003
IsraelPresentNativeHolm et al., 1979; USDA-ARS, 2003
JapanPresentIntroducedRandall, 2002
JordanPresentNativeHolm et al., 1979
LebanonPresentNativeHolm et al., 1979
Saudi ArabiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2003
SyriaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2003
TurkeyWidespreadNativeHolm et al., 1979; USDA-ARS, 2003

Africa

AlgeriaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2003
EgyptPresentNativeHolm et al., 1979; USDA-ARS, 2003
LibyaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2003
MoroccoPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2003
South AfricaPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979; Randall, 2002; USDA-ARS, 2003
Spain
-Canary IslandsPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2003
TunisiaPresentNativeHolm et al., 1979; USDA-ARS, 2003

North America

CanadaPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979; Randall, 2002; USDA-ARS, 2003
-AlbertaPresentIntroducedNatureServe, 2002
-British ColumbiaPresentIntroducedNatureServe, 2002
-ManitobaPresentIntroducedNatureServe, 2002
-New BrunswickPresentIntroducedNatureServe, 2002
-Newfoundland and LabradorPresentIntroducedNatureServe, 2002
-Nova ScotiaPresentIntroducedNatureServe, 2002
-OntarioPresentIntroducedNatureServe, 2002
-Prince Edward IslandPresentIntroducedNatureServe, 2002
-QuebecPresentIntroducedNatureServe, 2002
-SaskatchewanPresentIntroducedNatureServe, 2002
-Yukon TerritoryPresentIntroducedNatureServe, 2002
USAPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979; Randall, 2002; USDA-NRCS, 2002; USDA-ARS, 2003
-AlabamaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-AlaskaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-ArizonaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-ArkansasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-CaliforniaPresentIntroducedRandall, 2002; USDA-NRCS, 2002
-ColoradoPresentIntroducedRandall, 2002; USDA-NRCS, 2002
-ConnecticutPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-DelawarePresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-FloridaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-GeorgiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-HawaiiPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-IdahoPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-IllinoisPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-IndianaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-IowaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-KansasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-KentuckyPresentIntroducedRandall, 2002; USDA-NRCS, 2002
-LouisianaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-MarylandPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-MassachusettsPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-MichiganPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-MinnesotaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-MississippiPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-MissouriPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-MontanaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-NebraskaPresentIntroducedRandall, 2002; USDA-NRCS, 2002
-NevadaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-New HampshirePresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-New JerseyPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-New MexicoPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-New YorkPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-North CarolinaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-North DakotaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-OhioPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-OklahomaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-OregonPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-PennsylvaniaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-Rhode IslandPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-South CarolinaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-South DakotaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-TennesseePresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-TexasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-UtahPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-VermontPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-VirginiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-WashingtonPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-West VirginiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-WisconsinPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002
-WyomingPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2002

South America

ArgentinaWidespreadIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2003a; Holm et al., 1979; Randall, 2002
BoliviaPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2003a
BrazilPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979
ChilePresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979; Randall, 2002
UruguayPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979

Europe

AlbaniaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2003
AustriaPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979; USDA-ARS, 2003
BelarusPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2003
BelgiumPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2003
BulgariaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2003
Czechoslovakia (former)PresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2003
DenmarkPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2003
EstoniaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2003
FinlandPresentRandall, 2002
FrancePresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2003
GermanyPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979; USDA-ARS, 2003
GreecePresentNativeHolm et al., 1979; USDA-ARS, 2003
HungaryPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2003
IrelandPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2003
ItalyPresentNativeHolm et al., 1979; USDA-ARS, 2003
LatviaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2003
LithuaniaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2003
NetherlandsPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2003
NorwayPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979; USDA-ARS, 2003
PolandPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979; USDA-ARS, 2003
PortugalPresentNativeHolm et al., 1979; USDA-ARS, 2003
-AzoresPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2003
RomaniaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2003
Russian FederationPresentNativeHolm et al., 1979; USDA-ARS, 2003
SpainPresentNativeHolm et al., 1979; USDA-ARS, 2003
SwedenPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2003
SwitzerlandPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2003
UKPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979; USDA-ARS, 2003
UkrainePresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2003
Yugoslavia (former)PresentNativeHolm et al., 1979; USDA-ARS, 2003

Oceania

AustraliaPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979; Randall, 2002; USDA-ARS, 2003
-TasmaniaPresentIntroducedRandall, 2002
-VictoriaPresentIntroducedRandall, 2002
-Western AustraliaPresentIntroducedRandall, 2002
New ZealandPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979; Randall, 2002; USDA-ARS, 2003

History of Introduction and Spread

Top of page A. cotula is thought to have spread through contaminated seed, forage, or ships ballast. It was intentionally introduced to areas of South America as a medicinal herb and may have been introduced to other regions in the same manner. It may also have been introduced intentionally by confusing it with similar species with desired ornamental, herbal, or other properties. However, with its strong putrid odour it is unlikely that it was intentionally planted as an ornamental.

There are indications that populations of A. cotula are in decline in Denmark (Erneberg, 1999), Ireland and parts of Scotland, although initial introduction and establishment occurred nearly 500 years ago. It is thought that improvements in seed cleaning technology and herbivory from insects are the reasons for the decline. The environments of these regions are characterized as having moist cool summers with low evapotranspiration demands, and A. cotula populations were perpetuated only by repeated introduction via poorly cleaned seed. Improvements in seed cleaning technology have eliminated this avenue of re-introduction. Recent reports indicate that the species has become rare in Ireland, and in all parts of Scotland, with the exception of a single valley (of the River Tweed) with an environment characterized as having high evapotranspiration demands in summer (Kay, 1971).

In the Pacific Northwest Region of the USA, A. cotula is reported as being more common in arable lands under no-tillage production (Ogg et al., 1993). Soil moisture is generally greater in no-tillage production systems, particularly in spring, and a fair amount of soil disturbance occurs in these systems through fertilizer applications, planting, and other field operations. The result of increased no-tillage production in this region is an increase in the number of fields infested with A. cotula, greater areas of infestations in fields where it is present, and greater population densities in infested areas (Gealy et al., 1994).

Habitat

Top of page A. cotula is found in landscape, nurseries, and agricultural crops. It is also found along roadsides, in meadows, and in disturbed areas. It is adapted to rich soils. Originally native to Europe, it is now found worldwide in areas with a suitable climate.

The climatic range of A. cotula is limited by a combination of decreasing summer temperature and increasing rainfall (Kay, 1971). It is most abundant in areas with relatively warm summers (mean temperature of 15°C or greater) with rainfall less than 880 mm. In the Pacific Northwest region of the USA, it is known to infest arable lands in areas with annual rainfall as low as 450 mm. A. cotula has difficulty sustaining populations in areas with greater than 880 mm annual rainfall, but has been reported to be locally common in areas with greater than 10,000 mm rainfall with high summer evapotranspiration. Evapotranspiration rates, particularly during summer, appear to define the climatic range of A. cotula.

Soil type and fertility appears to be the most important factor in predicting where A. cotula occurs within its climatic range. It occurs most frequently on fertile clay and clay-loam soils (Clapham et al., 1962). Ellenberg (1950) describes favourable soil conditions as rather wet, weakly acidic to alkaline with high nitrogen content. It may also occur on medium-textured soils, particularly if sites are poorly drained, but is usually rare or absent on light soils (Kay, 1971).

A. cotula is commonly found along roadsides and in poorly managed pastures in the USA (Smith, 1987), and is becoming increasingly problematic as a weed in cropping systems in the Pacific Northwest Region of the USA (Gealy et al., 1994). In this region, mayweed infestations were previously restricted to low, wet areas, but recently the species has become increasingly established in other areas as well. This may be due to conservation tillage practices in which soil moisture remains high for extended periods of time and weed seeds remain at or near the soil surface (Gealy et al., 1985).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
 
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Protected agriculture (e.g. glasshouse production) Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Present, no further details
Wetlands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Littoral
Coastal areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page A. cotula is a weed in most annual and some perennial crops in the countries in which it occurs. It is most abundant as a weed in cereal crops (Kay, 1971) and legumes (Ogg et al., 1993). Although crop yield loss due to A. cotula has not been extensively researched, the research which has been done indicates that it is not particularly competitive. However, crop harvest losses or additional expense may occur due to the ability of the weed to grow after crop senescence (Ogg et al., 1993).

Although A. cotula is not thought to grow in undisturbed sites, it is been noted as a problem in legume or mixed grass/legume pastures, particularly during establishment (Smith, 1987). Damage due to A. cotula in pastures include toxic properties (Kingsbury, 1964) or poor palatability influencing forage preference by animals, and potential allelopathic influence on interseeded species (Smith, 1987).

A. cotula has been found to have allelopathic effects (Smith, 1987, 1990). Results of laboratory bioassays and growth chamber experiments indicated that water extracts of A. cotula are potentially allelopathic to alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) seedlings. A. cotula leaf tissue mixed in potting soil significantly reduced the growth of these species. The extract and tissue concentrations used in this research were estimated to be similar to concentrations expected to occur within pastures (Smith, 1987). Leaf tissue extracts had a stronger effect than did those from stems and roots, and the effect was more pronounced for seedling growth than for germination (Smith, 1990).

Recently, A. cotula has been described as a problem in native plant communities, particularly during re-establishment of desired vegetation. As with pastures, the main concern in native environments is reduced forage quality and potential allelopathic influences.

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage

Biology and Ecology

Top of page Genetics

Chromosome number of A. cotula has consistently been reported as n = 9 (Mulligan, 1957; Kay, 1971).

Hybrids between A. cotula and A. tinctoria, A. arvensis, Tripleurospermum inodorum [T. maritimum], and Matricaria recutita (Rohlena, 1930) have been recorded, but reports lack details of achene morphology, pollen fertility, chromosome number, and meiotic behavior necessary to confirm hybridization (Kay, 1971). Experimental reciprocal crosses without emasculation yielded a single hybrid between A. cotula and A. arvensis and many hybrids between A. cotula and T. inodorum, but no hybrids between A. cotula and M. recutita. Apparent A. cotula x T. inodorum hybrids have been found in large mixed populations in the field on two occasions in England (Kay, 1971).

Physiology and Phenology

A. cotula achene germination will occur all year, but peak germination occurs in spring or autumn. Internode elongation on flowering stems begins in May. Flower bloom begins in mid-June and may continue through November with peak bloom occurring in mid-July. Spring-emerging plants begin flowering in July and continue through August. Often, a second peak of flowering will occur in September and October following cereal grain harvest (Kay, 1971).

In a study of factors influencing germination of A. cotula seeds, Gealy et al. (1985) found that maximum percentage germination for seeds and achenes occurred at 20°C, and that achene germination was lower than seed germination under all conditions tested. Both acid scarification for 15 minutes and soaking in a 14 mM gibberellic acid solution more than doubled achene germination. Pericarp leachate inhibited achene and seed germination at high concentrations, indicating that pericarp leachate is not the primary cause of reduced achene germination. Optimum germination occurred at a pH of 4.5, while the range was from pH 3 to pH 6. Achene germination was inhibited by moisture stress to a greater degree than was seed germination. A soil moisture potential of -10,000 kPa reduced germination and total plant weight by as much as 95% and 80%, respectively (Gealy et al., 1994).

Reproductive Biology

Ray flowers of A. cotula are normally male, but are sometimes infertile female florets. Disc florets are complete, but self-pollination is less than 10%, so the species is considered strongly self-incompatible. However, self-compatibility has been observed in isolated plants in specialized habitats (Kay, 1971).

Pollination is largely via insect vectors, with several Syrphidae and Tachinidae species observed visiting flowers. Insect visits to flowers decline during periods of poor weather and later in the season. Scarcity of insect pollinators may account for poor seed set following periods of poor weather and in the late season (Kay, 1971).

Each capitulum produces many achenes which are circular in cross-section and contain a single smooth seed. The outer surface of the pericarp wall, which encloses the seed, has ten roughened longitudinal ribs. Achenes are 1.3 to 1.8 mm long and 0.7 to 1.9 mm wide (Gealy et al., 1985).

Achene production per plant varies widely. The number of capitula per plant ranges from one to a few hundred depending on the environment. The number of fertile flowers per capitulum varies with environmental conditions, the season, and the position of the capitulum on the plant. Large capitula have been observed to produce up to 120 seeds, but average achene number per capitulum is 50-75. However, achene production per plant varies greatly with environment and was reported to range from 550 to 1,375, 2,800 to 4,200, and 7,500 to 12,000 for average-sized plants at three locations in the UK. The largest plants in that survey had approximately 27,000 achenes (Kay, 1971).

A varying proportion of A. cotula achenes is infertile as a result of failure of fertilization or abortion of the embryo. The proportion of infertile achenes is commonly 10 to 25% and may range to 50% or greater under unfavourable conditions (Kay, 1971).

Environmental Requirements

Germination and emergence are normally very low in the autumn of the year in which the achenes are produced, much higher the following year, and slightly higher in the third year (Roberts and Neilsen, 1981).

Achenes of A. cotula buried in damp sand remained viable for 25 years but not for 30 years at Lansing, Michigan, USA (Darlington, 1931). Salzmann (1954) obtained 63% germination after 1 year of burial, 68% after 3 years, and 6% after 11 years.

Alternating temperatures strongly promote achene germination (Cerna, 1957). Most effective temperature regimes under laboratory conditions were 16 h at 20 or 30°C alternating with 8 h at 0°C, which resulted in 100% germination over 20 d. Constant temperatures of 20 and 30°C resulted in 16 and 13% germination, respectively, over 60 d. Ilnicki and Johnson (1959) found combinations of light and alternating temperatures between 20 and 30°C gave the greatest germination, although total germination was low.

Associations

A. cotula may have detrimental effects on neighbouring plants both via competition and allelopathic effects. Competition experiments showed that A. cotula is a weak competitor against peas (Pisum sativum), but because it continues to grow after peas senesce it interferes with crop harvest, and dense stands reduce pea growth (Ogg et al., 1993). Greenhouse experiments showed that the interference between A. cotula and peas occurs mainly underground, and that soil moisture is more important than nitrogen in controlling the outcome of this interaction. Decreasing soil moisture increased the aggressiveness of A. cotula relative to pea. Nitrogen added at 20 mg per week had no effect on peas, but more than doubled the size of A. cotula, though the aggressivness of the latter was not increased (Ogg et al., 1994).

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Mean annual rainfall00mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Bimodal
Summer
Uniform
Winter

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • impeded
  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • alkaline
  • neutral
  • very acid

Soil texture

  • heavy

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Aethes smeathmanniana Herbivore Seeds
Apion sorbi Herbivore Inflorescence
Cucullia chamomillae Herbivore Leaves/Stems

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page Larvae of Apion sorbi are known to attack capitulum of A. cotula, eating the interior of the receptacle and distorting it into a globular shape (Swanton, 1912). The larvae of Cucullia chamomillae are also reported to feed on A. cotula (Stokoe and Stovin, 1948).

Botrytis cinerea may damage A. cotula plants quite severely, especially in a wet climate or environment (Kay, 1971).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Top of page Natural Dispersal (Non-Biotic)

Movement of A. cotula may occur via water, but non-biotic natural dispersal is not a significant problem.

Vector Transmission (Biotic)

A. cotula achenes do not have structures that allow for easy biotic transmission. Achenes may occur in mud or soil caked onto animal hooves or hide, in the cuffs of trousers, or in animal faeces (Kay, 1971). However, these are not common means of dispersal.

Agricultural Practices

A. cotula achenes are most commonly spread by agricultural practices. Early infestations in cereal grains were thought to be largely via contaminated seed. Populations decreased with even the earliest improvements in seed cleaning methods and equipment (Kay, 1971).

Achenes may also move from field to field via contaminated tillage and harvest equipment. Introductions have also been documented through the movement of hay, bedding, manure, and animals containing achenes in their stomachs that are later excreted (Kay, 1971).

Accidental Introduction

Initial introductions via ship ballast have been reported. A. cotula may also have been confused with Matricaria recutita, or spread as a seed contaminant of this species or other related plants.

Intentional Introduction

A. cotula has been introduced for potential medicinal or other human uses in limited areas, mainly eastern Asia and South America.

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Soil, sand and gravel Yes

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Growing medium accompanying plants seeds
True seeds (inc. grain) seeds
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Bark
Bulbs/Tubers/Corms/Rhizomes
Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx
Fruits (inc. pods)
Leaves
Roots
Seedlings/Micropropagated plants
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches
Wood

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Animal/plant collections None
Animal/plant products Negative
Biodiversity (generally) Negative
Crop production Negative
Environment (generally) Negative
Fisheries / aquaculture None
Forestry production Negative
Human health Negative
Livestock production Negative
Native fauna Negative
Native flora Negative
Rare/protected species Negative
Tourism Negative
Trade/international relations None
Transport/travel None

Impact

Top of page A. cotula reduces the yield and quality of harvested crops, particularly of broadleaf crops. It is detrimental to forage yield and quality. There are some reports of A. cotula as a human skin irritant. Total or regional economic losses in agricultural or other human activities have not been reported.

Environmental Impact

Top of page A. cotula can displace natural vegetation under some conditions. Displacement concerns are largely during re-establishment of desired vegetation.

Impact: Biodiversity

Top of page A. cotula is largely a weed of disturbed sites. Thus, its presence is typically a result of other potential disruptions in biodiversity rather than as a direct threat itself.

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
Impact outcomes
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Negatively impacts human health
  • Negatively impacts animal health
  • Reduced native biodiversity
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

Top of page A. cotula has been used as a medicinal herb to cure various intestinal ailments. Reports indicate that the juices of A. cotula may be effective as an insect repellent.

Uses List

Top of page

Materials

  • Poisonous to mammals

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page A. cotula is very easily confused with A. arvensis. Leaves of A. cotula have a foul odour. The disks of A. cotula become conical before the rays wilt, and the rays are sterile. Leaves of A. arvensis appear a little less finely dissected, capitula a little larger with rays pistillate and fertile. Receptacles of A. arvensis are chaffy throughout and the bracts softer, pale, aceous, with short cuspidate awn tips, and achenes are not tuberculate.

A. cotula is also often confused with Chamaemelum nobile, Matricaria perforata [Tripleurospermum maritimum], Matricaria recutita, and Matricaria discoidea [Matricaria matricarioides]. However, its offensive odour, finely dissected leaves, and fine-haired stems below the capitula distinguish A. cotula.

Prevention and Control

Top of page Cultural Control

Cultural control of A. cotula is achieved by methods including improved drainage, crop rotation, using competitive varieties, and delayed spring planting. Improved seed cleaning techniques have lessened the abundance of A. cotula, particularly in cereal grain rotations (Kay, 1971).

Mechanical Control

As an annual weed, A. cotula is easily controlled by tillage, particularly in early growth stages. Mechanical control may be applied preplant, pre-emergence, or in-row for effective control. Hand-weeding is also quite effective, but can be extremely laborious with heavy infestations, and the plant may cause irritation.

Chemical Control

Sulfonylurea herbicides effectively control A. cotula. However, biotypes have been identified that are resistant to this group of herbicides. Clopyralid, picloram, and triclopyr provide good control of A. cotula, particularly when applied with growth-regulating herbicides such as dicamba, 2,4-D, or MCPA. Control is only fair with applications of dicamba, 2,4-D, or MCPA alone. Control is fair to good with metribuzin and diuron.

Control of A. cotula in forage crops using herbicides was investigated by Smith (1987). Glyphosate and paraquat applied during mid-March after germination of A. cotula and before initiation of growth by forage species provided good weed control with minimal crop damage.

Biological Control

Although certain insects and pathogens are known to attack A. cotula, no biological control programmes have been developed.

Integrated Control

Problems caused by A. cotula in crop production are limited to cereal rotations. Crop rotations utilizing varying planting dates and herbicide are effective for control. In pastures and forage production, improving plant competition via interseeding or fertilizer application can be effective in control. Eliminating seed introduction via contaminated seed, hay, bedding, or manure is most effective in preventing new or re-infestations of A. cotula.

References

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Cerna J, 1957. The biology of weeds of the family compositae. Thesis. Charles University, Prague, Czechoslovakia.

Clapham AR; Tutin TG; Warburg EF, 1962. Flora of the British Isles. Second edition. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Darlington HT, 1931. The 50-year period of Dr. Beal's seed viability experiment. American Journal of Botany, 18:262-265.

Ellenberg H, 1950. Landwirtschaftliche Pflanzensoziologie. Stuttgart, Germany: Ulmer.

Erneberg M, 1999. Effects of herbivory and competition on an introduced plant in decline. Oecologia, 118(2):203-209.

Gealy DR; Squier SA; Ogg AG Jr, 1994. Soil environment and temperature affect germination and seedling growth of mayweed chamomile (Anthemis cotula). Weed Technology, 8(4):668-672

Gealy DR; Young FL; Morrow LA, 1985. Germination of mayweed (Anthemis cotula) achenes and seed. Weed Science, 33(1):69-73

Hitchcock CL; Cronquist A, 1973. Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, USA: University of Washington Press.

Holm L; Pancho JV; Herberger JP; Plucknett DL, 1979. A Geographical Atlas of World Weeds. Toronto, Canada: John Wiley and Sons Inc.

Ilnicki RD; Johnson MW, 1959. Temperature, light, and seed size and their effects on germination of dog fennel. Proceedings of the 13th NE Weed Control Conference. 13:440.

Kay QON, 1971. Biological flora of the British Isles. Anthemis cotula L. Journal of Ecology, 59:623-636.

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Missouri Botanical Garden, 2003. Flora of China Checklist. Missouri Botanical Garden, Missouri, USA. http://mobot.mobot.org/W3T/Search/foc.html.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2003. VAScular Tropicos database. St. Louis, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden. http://mobot.mobot.org/W3T/Search/vast.html.

Mulligan GL, 1957. Chromosome numbers of Canadian weeds. I. Canadian Journal of Botany, 35:779-789.

NatureServe, 2002. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life. Version 1.6. Arlington, Virginia, USA: NatureServe. http://www.natureserve.org/explorer.

Ogg AG Jr; Stephens RH; Gealy DR, 1993. Growth analysis of mayweed chamomile (Anthemis cotula) interference in peas (Pisum sativum). Weed Science, 41(3):394-402

Ogg AG Jr; Stephens RH; Gealy DR, 1994. Interference between mayweed chamomile (Anthemis cotula) and pea (Pisum sativum) is affected by form of interference and soil water regime. Weed Science, 42(4):579-585

Randall RP, 2002. A global compendium of weeds. A global compendium of weeds, xxx + 905 pp.

Roberts HA; Neilson JE, 1981. Seed survival and periodicity of seedling emergence in twelve weedy species of Compositae. Annals of Applied Biology, 97(3):325-334

Rohlena J, 1930. Prispevky k floristickemu vyzkuma Cech. Cas. narod. Mus., 104:1-16.

Salzmann R, 1954. Untersuchungen uber die lebensdauer von Unkrautsamen im Boden. Mitt. Schweiz. Landw., 10:170-176.

Smith AE, 1987. Increasing importance and control of mayweed chamomile in forage crops. Agronomy Journal, 79:657-660.

Smith AE, 1990. Potential allelopathic influence of certain pasture weeds. Crop Protection, 9:410-414.

Stokoe WJ; Stovin GHT, 1948. The Caterpillars of British Moths including the Eggs, chrysalids and Food-plants. Series II. Warne, Wayside & Woodland series, UK: Warne.

Swanton EW, 1912. British plant-galls. London, UK: Methuen.

USDA-ARS, 2003. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysearch.aspx

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Willkomm M; Lange J, 1870. Prodromus Florae Hispanica, Vol. II. Stuttgartiae: E. Schweizerbart (E. Koch).

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