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Pineapple Chamomile / Pineapple Weed Encyclopedia


In the middle of Vermont, early July, this plant grows in great abundance. Note the gravel habitat.

Matricaria matricarioides (Pineapple Weed / Pineapple Chamomile) is one of the most delicious standalone herbal teas one can find. It has the same calming properties as traditional chamomile (M. chamolilla), but is more widespread and very pleasant tasting. When dried at low temperatures (95-100F) it retains most of it’s aromatic quality and flavor.

Usually, when the plant is found, it’s singly, or a in small community along a rather contaminated collection area. If we could collect this plant on any substantial scale we’d certainly be supplying it. We only end up with about a pound of it dried per year, just enough for personal use – and even that amount takes a few hours of judicious collecting at a few places. However, we can tell you exactly how to find this wonderful plant in some abundance for yourself.

The Pineapple Chamomile Checklist (Habitat and Identification)

(Matricaria matricarioides) – Open sun – June-July peak appearance – Poor quality dense soil with little competition — packed gravel, dirt roads, edges of fields and similar – Cone-shaped flowers – Feathery, deeply dissected foliage which smells of pineapple when broken. – Small plant, rarely taller than 10″ Pineapple Chamomile grows in the most adverse, unfriendly of soils, and the very best locations to find it thriving are open areas of packed gravel (as depicted above). This often means dirt roads, driveways, and similar habitats frequented by motor traffic which in general are not wise to pick from. The most we find is on the edges of organic farmland, where tractors run. Hunting preserves with open fields and dirt roads running through them (with scant tree cover) are also ideal. Wherever there is little or no motor traffic.

These small, fine-leaved plants tend to wilt quickly – bring a bucket of water to keep them in good shape until ready for dehydration.

When the winter drag of February comes around, a tablespoon of this summer herb used as a tea is a perfect reminder of the season ahead.