Plant Assessment Form

Cotula coronopifolia

Synonyms: Lancisia coronopifolia

Common Names: common brassbuttons

Evaluated on: 3/21/05

List committee review date: 08/07/2005

Re-evaluation date:


Elizabeth Brusati, project manager
California Invasive Plant Council
1442A Walnut St. #462, Berkeley, CA 94709
Joseph M. DiTomaso
University of California, Davis
Dept. Plant Sci., Mail Stop 4, Davis, CA 95616

List committee members

Jake Sigg
Peter Warner
Bob Case
John Knapp
Elizabeth Brusati

General Comments

No general comments for this species

Table 2. Criteria, Section, and Overall Scores

Overall Score? Limited
Alert Status? No Alert
Documentation? 2.5 out of 5
Score Documentation
1.1 ?Impact on abiotic ecosystem processes U. Unknown Reviewed Scientific Publication
Four-part score UCUD Total Score
1.2 ?Impact on plant community C. Minor Observational
1.3 ?Impact on higher trophic levels U. Unknown
1.4 ?Impact on genetic integrity D. None Other Published Material
2.1 ?Role of anthropogenic and natural disturbance in establishment B. Moderate Observational
Total Points
10 Total Score C
2.2 ?Local rate of spread with no management B. Increases less rapidly Observational
2.3 ?Recent trend in total area infested within state C. Stable Observational
2.4 ?Innate reproductive potential
(see Worksheet A)
A. High Other Published Material
2.5 ?Potential for human-caused dispersal D. Does not occur Other Published Material
2.6 ? Potential for natural long-distance dispersal C. Rare Other Published Material
2.7 ?Other regions invaded C. Already invaded Other Published Material
3.1 ?Ecological amplitude/Range
(see Worksheet C)
A. Widespread Other Published Material
Total Score B
3.2 ?Distribution/Peak frequency
(see Worksheet C)
C. Low Other Published Material

Table 3. Documentation

Scores are explained in the "Criteria for Categorizing Invasive Non-Native Plants that Threaten Wildlands".

Section 1: Impact
Question 1.1 Impact on abiotic ecosystem processes? U Reviewed Scientific Publication
Identify ecosystem processes impacted:


Sources of information:

Question 1.2 Impact on plant community composition,
structure, and interactions?
C Observational
Identify type of impact or alteration:

. Common in coastal freshwater and brackish marsh (1). Possible impacts to vernal pool species (2).

Sources of information:

1. Peter Warner, California State Parks, Mendocino, pers. obs.
2. Jake Sigg and Bob Case, California Native Plant Society, pers. obs.

Question 1.3 Impact on higher trophic levels? U
Identify type of impact or alteration:


Sources of information:

Question 1.4 Impact on genetic integrity? D Other Published Material

None No native Cotula in California.

Sources of information:

Hickman, J. C. (ed.) 1993. The Jepson Manual, Higher Plants of California. University of California Press. Berkeley, CA enter text here

Section 2: Invasiveness
Question 2.1 Role of anthropogenic and natural disturbance
in establishment?
B Observational
Describe role of disturbance:

Prefers disturbed aquatic or wet sites, but can move into undisturbed sites as well.

Sources of information:

DiTomaso, observational.

Question 2.2 Local rate of spread with no management? B Observational
Describe rate of spread:

Seems to spread slowly.

Sources of information:

DiTomaso, observational.

Question 2.3 Recent trend in total area infested within state? C Observational
Describe trend:

Movements in state appears to be fairly static.

Sources of information:

Question 2.4 Innate reproductive potential? A Other Published Material
Describe key reproductive characteristics:

Wetland or terrestrial perennial. Reproduces by seed and vegetatively from stems that root at nodes. Most seeds germinate after the first winter rains. Seeds survive one to two years under field conditions.

Sources of information:

DiTomaso and Healy. 2006. Weeds of California. UC DANR Publ. #3488.

Question 2.5 Potential for human-caused dispersal? D Other Published Material
Identify dispersal mechanisms:

Inhabits relatively inaccessible areas, so transport by humans is unlikely.

Sources of information:

Alaska Natural Heritage Program. 2005. Non-native plant species of Alaska: Common brassbuttons, Cotula coronopifolia L. Environment and Natural Resources Institute, University of Alaska - Anchorage. Available: species_bios_pdfs/Species_bios_COCO7.pdf

Question 2.6 Potential for natural long-distance dispersal? C Other Published Material
Identify dispersal mechanisms:

Can be transported by water, but dispersal was recorded as only 350-450 m per year. Dispersal by birds has been recorded but is rare.

Sources of information:

Alaska Natural Heritage Program. 2005.

Question 2.7 Other regions invaded? C Other Published Material
Identify other regions:

Native to South Africa. Also present in Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Alaska, Massachusetts (1) and England (2). Widely distributed around the world (3).

Sources of information:

1. USDA, NRCS. 2004. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
2. Burton, R. M. 1993. Botanical records for 1992. London Naturalist 0(72): 113-121.
3. Alaska Natural Heritage Program 2005

Section 3: Distribution
Question 3.1 Ecological amplitude/Range? A Other Published Material

Present in north, central, and south coast, San Francisco Bay, Central Valley, South Coast ranges, to 300m (1, 2). Inhabits freshwater and salt marshes (1, 3), wetlands, vernal pools, ditches, seasonally wet places, such as the edge of rivers, lakes and ponds, in many plant communities. Does not tolerate significant frost (1).

Sources of information:

1. DiTomaso and Healy in prep.
2. USDA, NRCS. 2004. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
3. Noe, G. B. and J. B. Zedler 2000. Differential effects of four abiotic factors on the germination of salt marsh annuals. American Journal of Botany 87(11): 1679-1692.

Question 3.2 Distribution/Peak frequency? C Other Published Material
Describe distribution:

Common in saline and freshwater marshes along coast.

Sources of information:

Hickman 1993

Worksheet A - Innate reproductive potential

Reaches reproductive maturity in 2 years or less Yes
Dense infestations produce >1,000 viable seed per square meter Yes
Populations of this species produce seeds every year. Yes
Seed production sustained over 3 or more months within a population annually No
Seeds remain viable in soil for three or more years No
Viable seed produced with both self-pollination and cross-pollination Unknown
Has quickly spreading vegetative structures (rhizomes, roots, etc.) that may root at nodes Yes
Fragments easily and fragments can become established elsewhere Yes
Resprouts readily when cut, grazed, or burned Yes
Total points: 8
Total unknowns: 1
Total score: A?

Related traits:

Worksheet B - Arizona Ecological Types is not included here

Worksheet C - California Ecological Types

(sensu Holland 1986)
Major Ecological Types Minor Ecological Types Code?
Marine Systemsmarine systems
Freshwater and Estuarine lakes, ponds, reservoirs
Aquatic Systemsrivers, streams, canals
Scrub and Chaparralcoastal bluff scrub
coastal scrub
Sonoran desert scrub
Mojavean desert scrub (incl. Joshua tree woodland)
Great Basin scrub
chenopod scrub
montane dwarf scrub
Upper Sonoran subshrub scrub
Grasslands, Vernal Pools, Meadows, and other Herb Communitiescoastal prairie
valley and foothill grassland
Great Basin grassland
vernal poolD, < 5%
meadow and seepD, < 5%
alkali playa
pebble plain
Bog and Marshbog and fen
marsh and swampD, < 5%
Riparian and Bottomland habitatriparian forest
riparian woodland
riparian scrub (incl.desert washes)
Woodlandcismontane woodland
piñon and juniper woodland
Sonoran thorn woodland
Forestbroadleaved upland forest
North Coast coniferous forest
closed cone coniferous forest
lower montane coniferous forest
upper montane coniferous forest
subalpine coniferous forest
Alpine Habitatsalpine boulder and rock field
alpine dwarf scrub
Amplitude (breadth): B
Distribution (highest score): D

Infested Jepson Regions

Click here for a map of Jepson regions

  • Cascade Range
  • Central West
  • Great Valley
  • Northwest
  • Sierra Nevada
  • Southwest
  • Desert Province
  • Mojave Desert
  • Sonoran Desert