We’re well into summer and surrounded by so many flowers. The pollinators are just loving it!
We are blessed to have a blanket of pineappleweed covering a large portion of the gravel near our house. I know, most people wouldn’t want a “weed” growing where gravel should be, but this amazing plant offers beauty, amazing aroma and our chickens love to nibble on it throughout the day. Some of it has even gotten tall enough for the chicks to rest in while staying safe from potential predators.
If you aren’t sure what pineappleweed is, allow me to introduce this little beauty:
Matricaria discoidea, is a relative of chamomile, the biggest difference being its ray flowers. The flowers are almost imperceptible giving it the look of a pineapple. Its scent is also reminiscent of a pineapple, which makes it a wonderful ground cover – when you walk on it, the scent permeates the air.
We do not cultivate pineapple weed and it doesn’t require cultivation. Once it gets going, it grows great on its own.
Because it’s a relative of chamomile, pineappleweed has a lot of the same properties, only they’re a little less pronounced than chamomile, making it a great plant to use with children. Kids enjoy the flavor and they’re more suited to picking it since it generally grows closer to the ground, lol. It’s so easy to identify, this is one of those plants you can teach to even young children.
It’s also helpful in cases of teething and irritability. Simply soak a cloth in the “tea” and freeze or cool and give it to your teething little one.
Drinking a cup of iced (consider making pineappleweed ice cubes to keep it from watering down!) pineapple weed sun tea during the day is so refreshing and a cup of hot tea before bed can help you relax and ready your mind for a restful slumber.
Pineappleweed is also an herb you can look to when someone is suffering from irritable stomach, especially one related to stress. This herb is safe to work with long term.
A few more ways to work with pineappleweed:
- ice cubes made from infused pineapple weed
- popsicles – a tasty combination could be pineapple juice and pineapple weed strong infusion
- jello and gummies – see previous posts for recipes
- syrup to top ice cream or use with sparkling water for a soda
- it adds a delicious component to salads
- tincture like you would chamomile
- leaves and flowers
The only warning is for those people allergic to the aster family.