Pineapple Weed

Pineapple Weed
Pineapple Weed. Matricaria Discoidea.
Asteraceae, the daisy, sunflower, or composite family.

Plant: Low, compact plant, 2"-12", with highly dissected, pineapple-scented leaves, and yellow-green cone-shaped flower heads without rays. Annual.
Flowers: Yellowish-green, cone-shaped heads without rays, 1/4"-3/8" across, growing at the ends of branches.
Leaves: Alternate, highly dissected into short, linear lobes, to 2" overall, sessile.
Fruit: Cone-shaped head containing small achenes.
Blooming: May-September
Habitat: Infertile waste areas, roadsides

Comments: This plant is native to East Asia and western North America, but has become naturalized across the continent. The leaves have a sweet pineapple-like scent when bruised, hence the common name. It is in the same genus as chamomile, and the flowers can, like those of chamomile, be dried and used for tea. The flowers are also reputedly edible added to salads, though supposedly sometimes bitter. I have not tried it. The plant has a history of medicinal use.

Where to find it: I have found this plant only in the compacted area of ground between the entry road and the trailhead.