poetry and prose about place

Pineapple Weed (Matricaria matricarioides (Less.) Porter.)

with 6 comments

I bear weeds no ill-will.  When I pull them in my garden, I am just helping my vegetables to get an edge in the great competition.  Also, as you now know, I consider many ‘weeds’ to be edible and delicious.  But, in one case, I cheerfully stomp on the weeds and consider the benefits to outweigh the sorrow.

When I went to meetings at our provincial Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, I had to follow a wide path of concrete slabs to get to the door of the building.  In the cracks between the slabs grew a small, rather pretty weed.  I loved to step on this weed, or pick it, to smell its fragrance.   The weed is Pineapple Weed and, crushed, it smells just like pineapple.  Its scent is also reminiscent of Garden-camomile, or Hay-scented Fern.

Pineapple Weed grows along roadsides and in waste places, wherever the soil is disturbed and competition from other plants is low.  It is an inconspicuous cousin of Garden-camomile (Anthemis nobilis L.) and looks a little like Camomile except the flowers have no white ray-florets.  The leaves of Pineapple Weed are very finely divided and feather-like.

The generic name Matricaria comes from the Latin word matrix, meaning ‘womb’, a tribute to its reputed medicinal properties.  The specific name matricarioides means ‘like Matricaria’ since it was originally considered to be another species.

My husband tells me, as a child, he used plants of Pineapple Weed as miniature trees when he played with his Dinky cars!

To make a pale yellow, pineapple-scented tea, steep the fresh or dried flowers of Pineapple Weed in hot water.

1. never eat any plant if you are not absolutely certain of the identification;
2. never eat any plant if you have personal sensitivities, including allergies, to certain plants or their derivatives;
3. never eat any plant unless you have checked several sources to verify the edibility of the plant.






two in the morning

and the canister of Camomile

yawns empty


crush Matricaria

steep a sprinkle of flowers

in water, tea the color

of straw


surround of pineapple

hay-scented fern




©  Jane Tims  2012

6 Responses

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  1. Aha, so that’s what I keep pulling out along the front of my driveway! 🙂


    Jane Fritz

    July 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm

  2. Great opening on your poem Jane! Like the drawings as well …



    July 4, 2012 at 7:20 am

    • Hi. Thanks. I’m glad you like the drawing. It helped to have taken closeups of a specimen. I am torn between drawing botanical accuracy and drawing the way the plant ‘feels’ to me… I think my drawing shows ‘Pineapple Weedness’ Jane


      jane tims

      July 4, 2012 at 7:23 am

  3. Good Morning Jane. I learn so much from your blog posts and can hardly wait until your book comes out. There is lots of stuff I don’t know about the plants and weeds I grew up with; thank you for opening those doors. I like the image of the can yawning empty and the surround of pineapple. Lovely post.


    Carol Steel

    July 4, 2012 at 7:08 am

    • Hi Carol. Good morning to you too. Glad you like the post and poem. Plants come on so fast, I’ll never keep up!!! Jane


      jane tims

      July 4, 2012 at 7:13 am

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