Marigolds, Yellow Chamomiles & Allies

Common Marigold Yellow Chamomile Crown Daisy Common Marigold

What are they?

Marigolds and related plants form a group of often showy, yellow- or orange-flowered members of the daisy and dandelion family - the Asteraceae. Their flowers differ from those of the dandelions in having strap-like petals or 'rays' around the outside of the compound flowerhead only, with the small florets in the centre being petalless and forming a button-like middle. These plants are annuals or herbaceous perennials and are often grown in gardens for their showy flowers, which can be produced throughout the summer. The plants tend to be multistemmed, while the flowerheads are mostly carried singly on long stems.

Where are they found?

Most are plants that are grown ornamentally and are most likely to be found as garden escapes or throw-outs on roadsides, waste ground or other grassy places. Corn Marigold is a weed of arable margins.

Identification

The flowers of this group can seem all rather similar at first, so it pays to make a note of leaf detail and to take a close look at the phyllaries (the green bracts around the base of the flowerhead), which should make identification relatively straight forward.



Common Marigold      Calendula officinalis

A popular garden plant that self-seeds quite freely and may be found as a weed of urban environments and disturbed ground. Flowers June to October. The flowers may be yellow or - more often - orange. Leaves are simple and unlobed, but often have strongly wavy edges. Seedheads are very distinctive, each curved seed looking like a small caterpillar!

Common Marigold Common Marigold Common Marigold Common Marigold
Flowerhead
Phyllaries
Leaf
Seedhead


Corn Marigold      Glebionis segetum

Once abundant as a cornfield weed, this species has become very rare due to modern farming practices, but it is seeing a revival as a constituent of sown seed mixes in some arable areas, as well as in semi-natural parks, borders and suburban locations. Flowers June to September. All parts of the stems and leaves have a blue-green 'bloom' to them, which can be rubbed off with the thumb, like that on a grape or plum.

Corn Marigold Corn Marigold Corn Marigold Corn Marigold
Habit
Flowerhead
Phyllaries
Leaf


Crown Daisy      Glebionis coronarium

Introduced from the Mediterranean region and not fully hardy so usually not persisting for long. Occasionally found as a garden throw-out or where perhaps self-sowing from spilt seed. Flowers June to October. Can form quite large,spreading clumps to 60cm in height. Flowers very similar to Corn Marigold, but the leaves are very deeply divided almost to the veins and do not hve the blue-green 'bloom'. Flowers may be all yellow, or bicoloured yellow and cream.

Crown Daisy Crown Daisy
Flower & leaf
Flower & leaf


Yellow Chamomile      Anthemis tinctoria

Introduced as a garden plant from Europe and occasionally found as a garden throw-out or escape. Flowers July to August. Most of the chamomiles have flowers with white rays and a yellow centre, but this one differs in its all-yellow flowerheads. Thus, it could be confused with the marigolds, but is easily identified by its densely-hairy stems and leaves. The leaves have stiffly linear side lobes which are strongly toothed at the margins.

Yellow Chamomile Yellow Chamomile Yellow Chamomile Yellow Chamomile
Habit
Flowerhead
Phyllaries
Leaf