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Have you ever heard of a plant called Wild Chamomile? Let me introduce you to this amazing plant, otherwise known as Pineapple Weed. Don’t let the name fool you, this plant is anything but a nuisance weed! Pineapple Weed is in the same family as Chamomile and actually has a similar scent and flavor, only slightly sweeter. Pineapple Weed makes a delicious herbal tea and can be foraged quite easily around your home!
What is Pineapple Weed?
Pineapple Weed has a yellow green cone shaped flower head. The leaves are lacy and almost fern like. Pineapple Weed is native to North America but most often found on disturbed soils such as roadsides, pathways and fields. Although this plant has “weed” in its name, it can actually be found in several of my wildflower identification books.
Pineapple weed has some medicinal properties. According to several of my wildflower and wild edibles identification books, Pineapple weed is helpful in treating colds, intestinal upset and menstrual cramps. It is also considered a mild sedative similar to chamomile.
My favorite wild edibles book (this is the one I use the most) says that Pineapple Weed flower heads can also be eaten. They are most commonly used in salads, breads and muffins. I tasted one and it had a light citrus flavor. Next time I make a salad I’m going to add in some Pineapple Weed flower heads for a little added flavor!
Making Pineapple Weed Tea
I’m sitting here drinking a warm glass of pineapple weed herbal tea and feeling so relaxed. About an hour ago, Little A and I ventured outside and foraged for pineapple weed on the north side of our barn. I love walking through this area because the huge patch of pineapple weed growing there sends such a lovely fruity scent in the air. It is slightly sweet and always makes me smile when I walk through there.
To make Pineapple Weed tea, harvest the flower heads in an area where you know no pesticides have been sprayed. I initially used scissors to cut the flower heads off but quickly found that it was easier to pull the heads off the flower stem.
Place the flower heads in a cup or pot and pour boiling water over top. Let them sit and steep for five to ten minutes. Strain the flowers from the tea. We used about two tablespoons of fresh flowers in 8oz of water. I drink a lot of foraged and homegrown herbal teas so I invested in this french press that works amazing for loose leaf herbal teas (you can find it here).
The tea had a wonderful light pineapple flavor. Little A wanted hers a little sweeter so we added a small spoon of honey from our beehives. Either way, it is a delicious free foraged herbal tea from the homestead!
I grew quite a few chamomile plants at our old house and would harvest and dry them to use in tea throughout the year. Unfortunately even though I transplanted the plants and their seeds into my herb garden at our new homestead last fall, they didn’t make it through the winter. I enjoy having a relaxing cup of herbal tea in the evenings and was disappointed about the chamomile not growing. Now I have a plethora of Pineapple Weed I can forage for free around our homestead to harvest, dry and use instead of chamomile!
–Wildflowers of Montana
Have you ever harvested pineapple weed? What do you use it for?