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Pineapple Weed - Matricaria discoidea

Pineapple Weed - Matricaria discoidea

Main features

  • Can only be found all year

  • Very fine, feathery leaves

  • Low growing

  • Likes loamy, compacted earth

  • Smells of pineapple when crushed

  • Flowers have no petals

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Pineapple Weed - Matricaria discoidea

Edible plant - novice

Other common names: Wild Chamomile, Disc Mayweed

Scientific name meaning: The Latin word "Matrix", meaning "of the womb" is where "Matricaria" is derived from. This is most likely due to the genus' association with uterine treatments and tonics. The species names "Discoidea" means “without rays”. This is in reference to Pineapple Weed's lack of petals

Season All year

Habitat - where will I find it? Pineapple Weed likes loamy ground, particularly if it is compacted. It is often found at the side of footpaths, driveways, farm gateways, agricultural land and gardens. 

It is a native of Asia, but can now be found in Europe and the Americas

Description - what does it look like? Pineapple Weed is low growing, compact plant, and has very fine fine and feathery leaves. The flowers have no petals. When crushed, the flower parts and leaves emit a pineapple-like scent

Possible lookalikes Could be confused with its relatives German Chamomile or Mayweed, neither of which is poisonous. However, Mayweed is scentless and German Chamomile doesn’t smell of pineapple

Use as a food The flowers can be eaten uncooked or in salads. They can also be used to flavour jellies, syrups and cordials. Pineapple Weed's leaves and flowers can be used to make a fragrant herbal infusion

Use in herbal medicine Pineapple Weed has been used to treat uterine conditions and internal worms, as a sedative and antispasmodic, and to promote lactation

If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner

Other uses The plant contains Myrcene - an important essential oil to the perfume industry. Pineapple Weed has also been used as an insect repellent 

Hazards There is some evidence that Pineapple Weed can cause allergic reaction in some people. A tolerance test is advised before use​

Importance to other species The smell of Pineapple Weed tends to repel insects and animals

Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!

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