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Pineapple weed: Matricaria matricariodes

Other names: Wild chamomile, Alaskan chamomile

This small gentle herb, is a very sweet scented herb that’s commonly found in disturbed, roadside fields around the entire Pacific Northwest. An easy way to tell you have this weedy species is to crush up the leaves or flower heads and smell it. Most people will smell a nice pineapple smell. My colleage Joseph, however, never seems to be able to smell this. He seems to think it smells mostly like chamomile. He’s right, this is the scent and its often called wild chamomile. If you’re used to chamomile tea, which comes from a German species, you’ll love preparing your own concoctions from this wild herb.

Medicinal Use: The herb, ground into a tea contains alpha-disabolol, which is a type of inflammatory drug. It’s also been used frequently as a drug for insomnia. It tends to make the individuals very drowsy.

Food Use: One use of this plant that sticks out is its use as a substitute for tobacco. It has no nicotine, but chewing on these herbs is supposed to be good for suppressing the urge to smoke.


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