You’ve probably walked over hardy pineapple-weed (Matricaria discoidea) often enough if you’ve walked at the boulevard, and never noticed it. An annual herb, this miniature plant with fern-like leaves thrives with full sun in roadside gravel or the disturbed, compacted earth along sidewalks.
When crushed the leaf or flower emits a scent of pineapple or chamomile, it’s cousin, though it’s funny green head lacks the pretty petals of chamomile.
It’s uses include:
- When bruised, it can be rubbed on skin to repel insects.
- Edible in salads, though it becomes somewhat bitter after blooming.
- Herbal tea, similar to chamomile, serves as a gastrointestinal aid for stomach upsets, gas, vermifuge, and irregularity.
- Seeds used as a salve for infected sores.
- Decoction for fever.
- Used to treat children’s colds and colic.
- Medicinally for postpartum anemia and to promote lactation.
- Can be used for muscle spasm and as a sleep aid.
Some caution is advisable as some individuals are allergic to this plant.
Native to northwestern North American but found in northeastern America, northeast Asia, and Europe. A ruderal species.