The pretty flowers of the May-weed bear a strong resemblance to the Daisy and are very often mistaken for it. They are much smaller, however, and the strong unpleasant odour of the May-weed's foliage immediately betrays it. Camomile tea, brewed from its leaves, was frequently administered for several bodily ailments in olden times. In California it is dried, powdered, and used for relieving colic. The fresh leaves are bruised and applied externally for producing blisters. The much-branched, smooth, annual stalk grows one or two feet in height and is very leafy and slender. The alternating leaf is so finely cut and divided that it is little short of a fringe, or as if it were simply the ribs and veinings of a leaf rather than a complete formation. It is somewhat coarse but has the appearance of delicacy. The flower is Daisy-like. The yellow disc florets are closely packed in a central, button-like head which is surrounded with a flaring circle of from ten to eighteen oblong, white, grooved, and notched ray flowers. The latter close abruptly downward against the stalk at night. The numerous flower heads are an inch broad. As the disc flowers mature, the yellow centre becomes cone-shaped and chaffy. The flowers, which are set in little green cups, terminate the branches. It is common from June to November along roadsides, about buildings, and in waste places generally, throughout our area and Canada. It is also found in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australasia.
MAY-WEED. Anthemis Cotula.