During the hot month of June, you may notice a new weed flowering. You will find them in the cracks of your sidewalk, driveway, garden, or lawn. Pineappleweed is a plant with small egg-shaped yellow flowers that kind of look like pineapples. The plant’s leaves also smell like pineapples when crushed, so it isn’t hard to guess the name’s origin. It has fern-like finger shaped leaves and can grow up to a foot high. Pineappleweed is a stubborn plant that can withstand mowing and thrives in rocky, disturbed, or gravelly areas. They are probably not what you had planned when you said you wanted flowers in the yard.
If pineappleweed is popping up in your lawn, have no fear. Whilst a stubborn weed, fortunately the roots are shallow, so persistently pulling pineappleweed up from the ground is possible with time. It produces by seeds, which are kind of gooey and can stick to wet boots, grass, or pet fur so this is something to keep in mind when removing the plant.
In addition to pulling pineappleweed by hand, consider the root of the problem (no pun intended): your soil. Pineappleweed loves rocky or tightly packed and sparse soil. Improving the irrigation and fertilization of your lawn or garden can not only make it less favorable to the weed but also encourage your desired plants to grow better, choking out the pineappleweed.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about pineapple weed, however, is what it is also known as: wild or false chamomile. That’s right—if you can’t get rid of it, this weed actually is very commonly used in cooking and medicine. You can gather the heads to make a pale yellow tea with calming properties, or nibble them as a snack or on a salad—but be careful because they are a little bitter and some people experience a mild allergic reaction. It is especially helpful in digestive matters, helping with cramps, gas, diarrhea, and discomfort. Women have used it to ease menstrual cramps, improve the quality of their breast milk, and to aid in childbirth. Pineappleweed has been used in perfumes and is said to be a good choice if you’re looking for fragrant insect repellent.