Corn Marigold

(Chrysanthemum segetum) A cornfield pest, so much of a pest that it became probably the first pernicious weed to claim government attention, for it was during the reign of Henry II that an enactment was published requiring the destruction of the "Guilds Weed". The plant was always plentiful on the light sandy soils of Morayshire, hindering the crops, and fostering the rhyme:

The guile, the Gordon, an' the hiddie-craw Is the three worst things that Moray ever saw.

Again, we find that at Cargill, in Perthshire, the gools, as the plant was known there (gools, guile, guild - they are all names for it, part of a long sequence that starts with the common Scots name, gowan), became such a trouble in the corn that an act of the Baron's Court was passed imposing a quite substantial fine on every tenant for each stock of gool that should be found growing amongst the corn on a particular day. Certain persons called gool-riders were appointed to ride though the fields searching for the plant. Wherever it was found the fine was imposed rigorously (Guthrie).

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