This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol2-4", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
In spite of its being addicted to cultivated ground, and its suspicious status as a native, Corn Marigold is found in Neolithic beds near Edinburgh. Its present distribution is Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia. It is not found in Hunts or Stirling in Great Britain, but everywhere else. It was regarded as a colonist by Watson.
The Corn Marigold is entirely a cornfield plant, being rarely found elsewhere except as an escape from such cultivated districts, occasionally coming up in allotments and gardens and on waste ground. It is usually to be found on high ground on dry, sandy, or loamy hills.
A field studded with Corn Mario-olds in flower is a sight to be remembered. It is a tall, branched plant, with an erect, woody stem, smooth, shiny, and rather bluish-green. The leaves are linear or oblong, narrowly elliptic, stalked, egg-shaped above, not downy, notched, toothed; the stem-leaves are alternate, stalkless, half-clasping the stem, oblong or egg-shaped above, with few teeth.
The flowerheads are golden-yellow (both disk and ray florets) and stalked, terminal, solitary, large, with leaf-like organs, with blunt, outer membranous margin, brown in colour. The first Greek name refers to the yellow colour of the flower. Small wart-like knobs occur on the upper sides of the corolla segments in the disk and in the ray.
This handsome plant is about 18 in. to 2 ft. high. Flowers are to be seen in June and July. It is an annual, propagated by seeds.
The flowers are large and conspicuous, of a deep golden yellow, both ray and disk florets, the former female, the latter bisexual. But it is one of those cornfield plants which are not easily accessible to insects, which cannot therefore cross-pollinate it.
Photo. Dr. Somerville Hastings - Corn Marigold (Chrysanthemum segetum, L.)