Anthemis cotula is an annual glandular plant with a harsh taste and an acrid smell. Its height varies from 12 inches (28 centimeters) to 24 inches (56 centimeters).
The leaves of the plant sometimes have very fine and soft hairs on the upper surface, although the plant is mostly hairless. There is no leaf stalk; leaves grow immediately from the stems. The leaves are pinnate in shape, with many extremely thin lobes, and can be around 1 or 2 inches long (2.5 to 5 centimeters).
Each stem is topped by a single flower head which is usually around 1 inch (2.34 centimeters) in diameter. The flower head is encompassed by between 10 and 18 white ray florets, each with a three-toothed shape; the florets tend to curve downwards around the edges and may occasionally have pistils, although these do not produce fruit. Beneath the flower proper, oval bracts of the plant form an involucre, with soft hairs on each; further bracts are bristled and sit at right angles to the flowers.