It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 80 cm tall, with spirally arranged, deeply lobed leaves 5–20 cm long. The flowers are bright yellow, produced in capitulae (flowerheads) 3.5-5.5 cm in diameter, with a ring of ray florets and a centre of disc florets.
It was formerly treated in the genus Chrysanthemum, but under a 1999 decision of the International Botanical Congress, that genus has been redefined with a different circumscription to include the economically important florist's chrysanthemum (now Chrysanthemum indicum).
The corn marigold must have been a serious weed during the 13th century in Scotland; a law of Alexander II states if a farmer allows so much as a single plant to produce seed in amongst his crops, then he will be fined a sheep.
- "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- Dalrymple, Sir David (1776). Annals of Scotland. Pub. J. Murray. London. P. 338 -339.
- Kleonikos G. Stavridakis , Κλεόνικος Γ. Σταυριδάκης (2006). Wild edible plants of Crete - Η Άγρια βρώσιμη χλωρίδα της Κρήτης. Rethymnon Crete. ISBN 960-631-179-1.
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