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Anthemis: from the Greek anthemon, "flower," for their profuse blooming, and the Greek name for Chamaemelum nobile, of which chamomile tea is made (ref. genus Anthemis) Cotula: from the Greek kotule meaning "a small cup" and referring to a hollow at the base of the amplexicaule leaves (ref. genus Cotula, also Anthemis cotula) mayweed: Middle English maythe weed, mayyen wed, alteration (influenced by May, and maiden ), of maithe from Old English mægtha
Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Asteridae / Synandrae; Asterales; Compositae / Asteraceae - Composites / Daisy or Sunflower Family
Description of the substance
Weed Description: Winter or summer annual with finely dissected leaves that may reach 2 feet in height. Primarily a weed of landscapes, nursery, and some agronomic crops that is found throughout the United States.
Seedling: Stems below the cotyledons (hypocotyls) are green and become maroon with age. Cotyledons are thick and smooth, approximately 7 to 8 mm long. The first true leaves are opposite, but all subsequent leaves are alternate. All true leaves are thick and finely dissected with some short hairs.
Leaves: Alternate, finely dissected, approximately 3/4 to 2 1/2 inches long and 1 inch wide. Leaves emit an unpleasant odor and may have some short hairs.
Stems: Erect, branching, usually without hairs.
Roots: Taproot and fibrous root system.
Fruit: An achene that is approximately 1.2 to 1.8 mm long.
Flowers: Occur in solitary heads at the ends of branches. Flowers are approximately 2/3 to 1 1/3 inches in diameter and are white (ray flowers) with yellow centers (disk flowers). White ray flowers have 3 distinct teeth.
Identifying Characteristics: Plants with finely dissected leaves that emit an unpleasant odor and have white flowers with a yellow center. Mayweed chamomile may resemble Dogfennel (Eupatorium capillifolium) when in the seedling stage, however dogfennel seedlings have petiolated cotyledons and hairy stems. Pineapple-weed also has similar characteristics, but has green flowers and lacks the unpleasant odor of mayweed chamomile.
This annual herb, growing freely in waste places, resembles the true Chamomile, having large, solitary flowers on erect stems, with conical, solid receptacles, but the white florets have no membraneous scales at their base. It is distinguished from the allied genera by its very foetid odour, which rubbing increases.
The whole plant, including the fennel-like leaves, has this odour and is full of an acrid juice that has caused it to be classed among the vegetable poisons; it is liable to blister.
Its action resembles that of the Chamomiles, but it is weaker, and its odour prevents its general adoption.
Bees dislike it, and it is said to drive away fleas.
The flowers must not be gathered when wet, or they will blacken during drying.
You'll see the daisy-like mayweed (a member of the sunflower family) along the roadsides on Assateague in may areas. Mayweed can grow up to two feet in height; the flowers grow up to about an inch across, and the fern-like leaves may be over two inches in length. (The photos were taken in mid-May.)
On Assateague, mayweed blooms in May as the name implies (as late as June in northern parts of America). The fern-like leaves of the mayweed distinguish it from the oxeye daisy which has toothed leaves.