COTTONWEED

Achillea maritima

(Formerly: Otanthus maritimus [but Genus Otanthus is now abandoned])
Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]

month8aug month8sep month8sept month8oct month8nov

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8yellow
inner
inner8orange
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ0
type
typeZclustered
stem
stem8round
rarity
rarityZscarce

18th Sept 2011, Lady's Island Lake, Wexford, Ireland. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
A rare low plant, to a foot high, growing near the sea amidst Sea Spurge.


18th Sept 2011, Lady's Island Lake, Wexford, Ireland. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
Is so covered in a tight matt of white hairs that it looks frosted.


18th Sept 2011, Lady's Island Lake, Wexford, Ireland. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
At the top grow several tightly-packed flower heads of deep yellow flowers.


18th Sept 2011, Lady's Island Lake, Wexford, Ireland. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
The leaves are short and so tightly packed around the stem as to completely hide it from view.


18th Sept 2011, Lady's Island Lake, Wexford, Ireland. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
The Daisy-type flowers lack ray-florets altogether, and consist only of several heads of disc florets with their usual five short triangular petals.


18th Sept 2011, Lady's Island Lake, Wexford, Ireland. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
Short white hairs so densely cover the plant that hardly any green is visible, just the briefest tint.


18th Sept 2011, Lady's Island Lake, Wexford, Ireland. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
The disc-florets all huddle together.


18th Sept 2011, Lady's Island Lake, Wexford, Ireland. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
Flowers going to seed.


18th Sept 2011, Lady's Island Lake, Wexford, Ireland. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
Leaves short, less than an inch long, linear and with an abrupt 90° chamfer at the end.


18th Sept 2011, Lady's Island Lake, Wexford, Ireland. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
Some leaves have short teeth, a little like nodules along the edge.


Easily confused semantically with : Buttonweed [a plant of similar name belonging to the same Daisy & Dandelion Family but which looks more like a Coltsfoot plant but one curiously lacking ray-florets]. Nor should it be confused with Cotton Thistle, a thistle covered in longer white hairs.

Some similarities to : Lavender-cotton, another member of the Daisy & Dandelion Family, but that is a low shrub, which also has deep yellow and ray-less flowers, is covered in a dense short matt of white hairs, and where the short pinnately-lobed leaves sparsely populate the stems allowing them to be seen.

Slight resemblance to : the Cudweeds such as Jersey Cudweed which are also covered in a dense matt of white hairs. They too belong to the same Daisy & Dandelion Family.

No relation to: Black Cottonwood, a type of Poplar tree.

Not to be semantically confused with : Buttonweed (Cotula coronopifolia) [which has a similar sounding name and belongs to the same Dandelion & Daisy Family (Asteraceae)]

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

Rare! A salt-tolerant plant previously found in up to 20 scattered locations near the sea in the South of England and Ireland, but since the start of the new Century now found in only one location: in County Wexford, Ireland, by the sea.


  Achillea maritima  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Asteraceae  

Distribution
 family8Daisy & Dandelion family8Asteraceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Achillea
Achillea
(Yarrows)

COTTONWEED

Achillea maritima

(Formerly: Otanthus maritimus [but Genus Otanthus is now abandoned])
Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]

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