Herbs on the Bike Path: Pineapple Weed

Latin name:
Matricaria matricarioides

Part used:
leaves only

You would never really even notice Pineapple Weed. It grows very low and, because the tiny flowers have no petals, it looks like… well, lawn. But that greenness covering the ground across from the community garden is a cousin of chamomile. It gets its odd name from the pineapple-like aroma that’s emitted from the flower head when squished.

For centuries, herbalists have considered Pineapple Weed a less potent relative of chamomile, but its leaves are actually a little stronger in their anthelmintic properties, which is why it’s perfect for dogs. Pineapple Weed is especially effective against roundworm and whipworm. I like to put it in capsules with wormwood, black walnut, and sage to rid the lower digestive tract of unwanted inhabitants.

The plant has an affinity for growing in places not to be harvested! It has a preference for tightly compacted soil, making walkways, parking areas, and other heavily trafficked areas its home. So, it certainly seems content on the bike path near Davis, awaiting trampling feet as they walk or bike home from the T.  …or trampling paws as they play!


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