5. Cotula Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 891. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5. 380. 1754; Grierson in Dassan. & Fosberg, Rev. Handb. Fl. Ceylon 1: 239. 1980; K. Bremer & Humphries in Bull. Nat. Hist. Mus. Lond. (Bot.) 23 (2):157.1993; K. Bremer, Asteraceae: 472. 1998; Grierson & Springate in Grierson, D.G.Long & Springate, Fl. Bhutan 2(3): 1568. 2001.
Annual or perennial, low growing, usually scented, hairy herbs with alternate, sometimes opposite or rosulate pinnatifid or pinnatisect, rarely undivided leaves. Capitula small to mediocre, pedunculate, hetero- or homogamous, disciform, or discoid, rarely radiate, solitary terminal. Involucre biseriate, phyllaries subequal, scarious-margined. Receptacle flat to conical, without paleae. Outer florets or rays female, fertile, uni- to multiseriate, more numerous than the disc-florets, without or with a short, conical 2-4-toothed corolla. Disc-florets bisexual, shortly pedicellate, fertile or sterile, with a 4-toothed yellow tube. Anthers basally obtuse, entire, apically ovate-appendaged. Style branches obtuse or truncate, included. Cypselas, particularly outer ones, stipitate, dorsally compressed, winged or marginate, inner achenes 2-4-ribbed, epappose or shortly auriculiform.
Species 55, distributed in Southern hemisphere, mainly S. Africa, Australia and S. America; a few extending to NE Asia, E. Africa, Arabia and N. Africa. Represented in Pakistan by 2 species.
Quite similar in general appearance to Matricaria but can be easily distinguished from it and other allied genera by stipitate, 1-many seriate fertile, female ray-florets which are mostly without ligules, (3-) 4-lobed disc-corollas and winged epappose cypselas.