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Genus Cotula Family Asteraceae

Description: Annual or perennial, erect or decumbent herbs, rarely prostrate and creeping.

Leaves alternate, entire, toothed or pinnatisect, mostly cauline.

Inflorescence terminal and axillary, heads solitary, pedunculate. Heads hemispherical or broadly cup-shaped; involucral bracts 2-seriate, imbricate, herbaceous with ± hyaline margins; receptacle flat to conical, lacking scales. Florets pedicellate, pedicels persisting after achenes fallen; outer 1–4 whorls of florets female, corolla unjointed with ovary or absent, narrower than the ovary at anthesis, usually long pedicellate; inner florets bisexual, usually fertile, tubular, 4-toothed, short pedicellate, style bifid. Anthers obtuse or acute at base, apical appendage ovate or lanceolate.

Achenes plano-convex or compressed in female florets, 1-seriate hairs; pappus absent.


Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 50 species, mostly Southern Hemisphere. Australia: 7 species (4 species native and 3 species endemic), all States except N.T.

Text by E. A. Brown
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Peduncles rarely overtopping leaves at flowering, hollow; stoloniferous, creeping herb with prostrate branches, plants rosette-like (leaves aggregated at end of stems)Cotula alpina
Peduncles longer than leaves at flowering, not hollow; plants erect or ascending to more or less prostrate2
2Leaves pinnatisect with acute fine-pinnatifid segments3
Leaves entire or coarsely toothed
                       Back to 1
Cotula coronopifolia
3Plants more or less hairy, prostrate or ascending4
Plants more or less glabrous, erect
                       Back to 2
Cotula bipinnata
4Annual or short-lived perennial to c. 10 cm high; involucral bracts 5–20, oblong to oblong-ovate, apex roundedCotula australis
Annual to 40 cm high; involucral bracts c.10, broad-ovate, apex acute
                       Back to 3
Cotula turbinata

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