One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: the stinking chamomile, Anthemis cotula (family Asteraceae (Compositae)). Later also (chiefly North American): any of various similar plants of the same family having finely divided foliage resembling that of fennel, especially any of the genus Eupatorium.
Late Middle English. In some forms from dog + fennel; in some forms from the genitive of dog + fennel; so called on account of its bad smell, and fennel-like leaves; compare dog.
dog fennel/ˈdɒɡ ˌfɛnl/
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