Cotula coronopifolia L.


Sp. Pl. 892 (1752) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Erect to spreading glabrous perennial to 20 cm high, often somewhat succulent; older stems rooting at nodes. Lower leaves oblong, 1–8 cm long, 2–10 mm wide, usually pinnatifid, rarely entire, sheathing at base; upper leaves smaller, entire. Capitula 5–12 mm diam., terminal and axillary; peduncles 2–8 cm long, erect; involucral bracts many, ovate to lanceolate, 3–5 mm long. Female florets 1-seriate, corolla absent; bisexual florets numerous, corolla c. 1 mm long. Cypselas of female florets oblong, 1.5–2 mm long, flat, glandular, broadly winged; cypselas of bisexual florets narrow-oblong, 1–2 mm long, somewhat compressed, glandular, with narrow marginal ridges. Flowers mainly winter and spring.

*Brid, *CVU, *DunT, *EGL, *EGU, *GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *GGr, *HNF, *HSF, *LoM, *MuF, *MuM, *MSB, *NIS, *OtP, *OtR, *RobP, *Strz, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP, *WPro, *Wim. Also naturalised WA, SA, Qld, NSW, Tas. Native to South Africa, ?New Zealand. Widespread and abundant throughout lowland Victoria, in damp or wet places. Usually grows as an emergent aquatic in fresh, or more often brackish to saline water.

The widespread and apparently stable distribution of this taxon in Australia, and the early collection dates of many specimens-dating back to the middle of the 19th century in Victoria and much earlier in New South Wales-have led to the belief that it is native. Most recent authors, however, regard it as introduced due to its wide distribution in temperate regions of the world. It is generally regarded as native in New Zealand. For further information on this debate see Heyligers (1995) and Romanowski (1994, 1995).

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1999). Asteraceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Neville Walsh, 2018-01-31

Heyligers, P. (1995). Waterbuttons, Cotula coronopifolia., Indigenotes 8: 2-4.

Romanowski, N. (1994). Cotula coronopifolia: return of a native., Indigenotes 7: 2,3.

Romanowski, N. (1995). More on Waterbuttons, Cotula coronpifolia., Indigenotes 8: 6,7.

Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Asterales
family Asteraceae
genus Cotula
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Cotula coronopifolia in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Cotula coronopifolia in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present naturalised
Murray Mallee present naturalised
Wimmera present naturalised
Glenelg Plain present naturalised
Bridgewater present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Murray Scroll Belt present naturalised
Robinvale Plains present naturalised
Murray Fans present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Greater Grampians present naturalised
Dundas Tablelands present naturalised
Northern Inland Slopes present naturalised
East Gippsland Lowlands present naturalised
East Gippsland Uplands present naturalised
Wilsons Promontory present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised
Otway Ranges present naturalised
Strzelecki Ranges present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory