We gardeners spend hours yanking weeds out of our precious flowerbeds. To be honest, I enjoy weeding. I find it relaxing. I suspect quite a few of my fellow gardeners would agree.
Recently I discovered an annoying weed I haven't been able to defeat is in truth a sheer delight. I speak of humble Pineapple Weed.
Matricaria matricioides! A big name for a weed found in waste areas. But its scientific name is actually touching once defined.
'Matricaria' stems from Latin matrix meaning 'mother' while 'caria' is Latin for 'dear'. This gives us 'mother dear'.
This name refers to medicinal use of pineapple weed for easing pain of menstrual cycle, as well as for treating colic in babies.
Pineapple weed can soothe pain of being a woman, a mother, or a baby (which helps Mom even more).
This plant's green fern-like foliage and oval greenish yellow flowers often cause people to mistake it for its close relative chamomile plant. Pineapple weed looks like chamomile while in bud, only this weed's homely flowers never produce flashy white petals of its famous cousin.
Visit this link to see a photo: http://www.wssa.net/photo&info/bmp/pineapple.weed.plant.jpg
This native annual of Western America makes its stubborn presence known from May to November. It grows in cracks in sidewalks, parking lots, in any plot of dry earth trampled by we humans. The pineapple weed has spread clear across Atlantic to Europe.
I discovered hidden charm of this weed while pulling a group out of ground. The crushed leaves actually give off fruity scent of pineapple.
Intrigued, I did some research. I learned this weed is not only edible, with same soothing qualities as chamomile, but was also a big hit with Native Americans way back when.
Native Americans traded goods for pineapple weed. The plant was used as a perfume as well as a big repellant. Dried plants were sprinkled onto meat to keep off flies.
But what caught my attention while researching is fact this weed is often brewed as a tea.
Being a devout tea-drinker this delighted me. I already make tea from my peppermint plants. Why not put this pesky weed to good use?
After rinsing three dusty plants in sink I brewed a pot of pineapple weed tea by pouring freshly boiled water into a tea strainer holding flower heads from plants (the leaves can also be used but they add a bitter note to brew). I allowed tea to steep for three minutes before removing strainer from pot.