Matricaria discoidea

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Pineapple Weed


Matricaria discoidea, commonly referred to as pineapple weed or disc mayweed is indigenous to North America and Northeast Asia. Over time, this annual plant has become a cosmopolitan weed, meaning it can be found throughout most of the world permitting conditions are favorable. The flowers are edible and often crushed to make herbal tea or used in other dishes. Pineapple weed is also known for its medicinal powers, and is capable of providing relief for a wide variety of symptoms and ailments.

Description


Pineapple weed is a summer or winter annual with leaves which emit an odor comparable to that of pineapple. The plant primarily grows in landscapes, turf-grass and nurseries,but has also been found in stone or gravel areas. Leaves are between 1/2 to 2 inches long and arranged alternately along the plants stem. Leaves are hairless and divided into many narrow sections. Pineapple weed stems are smooth, hairless and generally donot grow taller than 16 inches. The plant has taproots with secondary fibrous roots. Flowers are produced on small stalks at the ends of the stems. Individual flowers are cone-shaped and yellow in color with a slight hint of green. Typical flower size ranges from 1/4 to a 1/2 inch in diameter.

Scientific Classification
Kingdom DC. – disc mayweed
Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom
Tracheobionta – Vascular
plants
Superdivision
Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division
Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class
Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass
Asteridae
Order
Asterales
Family
Asteraceae – Aster
family
Genus
Matricaria – mayweed
Species
Matricaria discoidea
Binomial Name
Matricaria discoidea DC.

Relatives


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Pineapple Weed Flower and Fruit Detailed Illustration
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Distribution of Pineapple Weed in the United States
With nearly 24,00 species of herbs, shurbs and trees distributed worldwide Asteraceae is one of the largest plant families. Members of the family have flower heads composed of numerous small flowers surrounded by bell-shaped disk florets. The Asteraceae plant family produces one-seeded fruitswithhard outer coverings called achene. Some notable members of the Asteraceae family are noxious weeds such aslettuce, artichoke, sunflower and dandelion.

Use and Efficacy


Pineapple weed can be used to treat a wide variety of medical ailments. The plant was used widely as an herbal remedy during the time when Native Americans occupied the United States. It is still used widely in the United States, however, the emergence of modern medicine has made it an inferior option in many situations. Pineapple weed flowers can be crushed and made into tea which acts as a sedative helping individuals suffering from insomnia and anxiety. Further, pineapple weed tea can be used as an analgesic taken for stomach pains and relief from gas or bloating. The plant also acts as a gastrointestinal aid and antidiarrheal when infused as a tea. The seeds of pineapple weed can be used as a disinfectant or dermatological aid to heal infected sores. Additionally the plant tops can be used as an Antihemorrhagic by individuals who are spitting up blood. Active compounds commonly found amongst plants in the Matricaria Genus are characteristic polyines such as 2Z,8Z-matricaria ester, 8Z-2,3-dihydro-matricaria ester, 2E- and 2Z- lachnophyllum ester, 2E-dehydro-matricaria ester, and 5E,9Z-matricaria lactone. The use of pineapple wide for medicinal purposed has not been approved or evaluated by the FDA, however, it has been used for hundred of years with success. Potential side-effects or drug interactions are mostly limited to individuals having allergic reactions to the plant.



References


http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/39698/Asteraceae
http://plants.usda.gov/java/nameSearch?keywordquery=Matricaria+discoidea&mode=sciname&submit.x=0&submit.y=0
http://herb.umd.umich.edu/herb/search.pl?searchstring=Matricaria+discoidea
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/WEEDS/pineapple_weed.html
http://www.ppws.vt.edu/scott/weed_id/matmt.htm