Pineapple Weed Information: Tips For Managing Pineapple Weeds

pineapple weed
Image by Oona Räisänen

By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

Also known as disc mayweed, pineapple weed plants are broadleaf weeds that grow across Canada and the United States, with the exception of the hot, dry southwestern states. It thrives in thin, rocky soil and is often found in disturbed sites, including riverbanks, roadsides, pastures, sidewalk cracks, and maybe even your own backyard or gravel driveway. Read on for information about identifying and managing pineapple weeds.

Pineapple Weed Information

Pineapple weed (Matricaria discoidea syn. Chamomilla suaveolens) is appropriately named for the small, greenish-yellow, cone-shaped flowers that grow atop sturdy, hairless stems. When crushed, the leaves and flowers emit a sweet, pineapple-like aroma. The leaves are finely cut and fern like. Although pineapple weeds belong to the aster family, the cones have no petals.

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Reportedly, the small, tender buds are tasty added to salads, brewed as tea or eaten raw, but be careful, as some people may experience a mild allergic reaction. Pineapple weed plants resemble various other less palatable weeds, so before you taste, be sure you can identify the plant by its sweet, fruity aroma.

Pineapple weeds reproduce only by seeds. The small seeds are rather gooey when wet, which makes managing pineapple weeds especially challenging. The gelatinous seeds can stick to passing animals and can also be dispersed by water and by human activity, such as mud stuck to tires and boot soles.

How to Kill Pineapple Weed

Complete control of pineapple weed is difficult but, fortunately, the roots are shallow and relatively easy to pull. Be persistent, as it may take several attempts before the weed is eradicated. If the ground is hard, soak it the day before to make pulling easier.

Mowing is an effective means of control for many weeds, but mowing pineapple weed won’t slow it down a bit.

Pineapple weed plants are resistant to many herbicides, but a systemic product may be effective. Your local garden center or Cooperative Extension Office can offer advice specific to your situation.

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