For the town, see Cotula, Tennessee.
water buttons
Cotula coronopifolia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Anthemideae
Genus: Cotula
Type species
Cotula coronopifolia

Cotula is a genus of flowering plant in the sunflower family.[4][2] It includes plants known generally as water buttons or buttonweeds.

The species within this genus can vary extensively in their habit, leaf division, involucre, receptacle and achenes. This makes it difficult to define them by comparing their morphology. The genus can only be defined by looking at the corollas of their flowers. Most are disciform (lacking ray florets). These corollas may be tubular, reduced or even absent. Another characteristic is their solitary heads growing on a peduncle.


Cotula is the largest genus found in the Southern Hemisphere of the tribe Anthemideae. This genus was first mentioned by Carl Linnaeus, who described four species in his first edition (1753) of Species Plantarum. In 1867 the genus was subdivided by George Bentham[5] into three sections. Since his account, only a few changes have been made but the number of species has remained more or less stable. The sections possess different basic chromosome numbers :

David G. Lloyd has proposed that the five species from Australia and New Guinea are distinctive enough from the other species from the section Leptinella to be brought under a new section with the proposed name Oligoleima (type species C. longipes).

  1. Cotula abyssinica Sch.Bip. ex A.Rich.
  2. Cotula alpina (Hook.f.) Hook.f.
  3. Cotula andreae (E.Phillips) K.Bremer & Humphries
  4. Cotula anthemoides L.
  5. Cotula aurea L.
  6. Cotula australis (Sieber ex Spreng.) Hook.f.
  7. Cotula barbata DC.
  8. Cotula bipinnata Thunb.
  9. Cotula bracteolata E.Mey. ex DC.
  10. Cotula burchellii DC.
  11. Cotula ceniifolia DC.
  12. Cotula chamaemelifolia Ehrenb. ex K.Koch
  13. Cotula cinereum
  14. Cotula coronopifolia L.
  15. Cotula cotuloides (Steetz) Druce
  16. Cotula cryptocephala Sch.Bip. ex A.Rich.
  17. Cotula dielsii Muschl.
  18. Cotula duckittiae (L.Bolus) K.Bremer & Humphries
  19. Cotula eckloniana (DC.) Levyns
  20. Cotula elongata B.Vogel
  21. Cotula filifolia Thunb.
  22. Cotula goughensis R.N.R.Br.
  23. Cotula gymnogyne F.Muell. ex Benth.
  24. Cotula hemisphaerica Wall. ex Benth. & Hook.f.
  25. Cotula heterocarpa DC.
  26. Cotula hispida (DC.) Harv.
  27. Cotula laxa DC.
  28. Cotula leptalea DC.
  29. Cotula lineariloba (DC.) Hilliard
  30. Cotula loganii Hutch.
  31. Cotula macroglossa Bolus ex Schltr.
  32. Cotula mariae K.Bremer & Humphries
  33. Cotula melaleuca Bolus
  34. Cotula membranifolia Hilliard
  35. Cotula mexicana (DC.) Cabrera
  36. Cotula microglossa (DC.) O.Hoffm. & Kuntze ex Kuntze
  37. Cotula montana Compton
  38. Cotula moseleyi Hemsl.
  39. Cotula myriophylloides Harv.
  40. Cotula nigellifolia (DC.) K.Bremer & Humphries
  41. Cotula nudicaulis Thunb.
  42. Cotula paludosa Hilliard
  43. Cotula paradoxa Schinz
  44. Cotula pedicellata Compton
  45. Cotula pedunculata (Schltr.) E.Phillips
  46. Cotula pterocarpa DC.
  47. Cotula pusilla Thunb.
  48. Cotula radiata O.Hoffm. ex Kuntze
  49. Cotula radicalis (Killick & Claassen) Hilliard & B.L.Burtt
  50. Cotula reptans (Benth.) Benth.
  51. Cotula rosea Boj. ex Less.
  52. Cotula sericea L.f.
  53. Cotula socialis Hilliard
  54. Cotula sororia DC.
  55. Cotula squalida (Hook.f.) Hook.f.
  56. Cotula tenella E.Mey. ex DC.
  57. Cotula thunbergii Harv.
  58. Cotula turbinata L.
  59. Cotula villosa DC.
  60. Cotula vulgaris Levyns
  61. Cotula zeyheri Fenzl


Cotula is known to be used in New Zealand as ground cover for bowling greens, playing fields on which the ball-game of bowls is played[6][7]


  1. lectotype designated by M. L. Green, Prop. Brit. Bot. 182 (1929)
  2. 1 2 Tropicos, Cotula L.
  3. 1 2 Flann, C (ed) 2009+ Global Compositae Checklist
  4. Linnaeus, Carl von. 1753. Species Plantarum 2: 891-892 in Latin
  5. Bentham, G., 1867: "Flora Australiensis", Vol. 3. Reeve, London.
  6. The Royal Society of New Zealand (September 1979). New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science/Experimental Agriculture. The Royal Society of New Zealand. pp. 257–. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  7. Sports Turf Research Institute (Bingley, England) (1999). International turfgrass bulletin. Sports Turf Research Institute. Retrieved 24 August 2012.


Further reading

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