Matricaria discoidea (Pineapple-weed)

Plant Info
Also known as: Disc Mayweed
Family:Asteraceae (Aster)
Life cycle:annual
Origin:Pacific Northwest
  • Weedy
Habitat:part shade, sun; dry; road sides, waste areas
Bloom season:May - September
Plant height:3 to 12 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FACU MW: FACU NCNE: FACU
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: indistinct

[photo of flowers] Flowers are single at the tips of branching stems, yellowish green dome-shaped heads ¼ to 1/3 inch across. There are no petals (ray flowers), only disk flowers. The bracts surrounding the base of the flower head have a white papery edge.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: lobed

[photo of leaves] Leaves are up to 2 inches long and ¾ inch wide, deeply divided and branching into narrow, segments, looking feathery or fern-like. Leaves and stem both may have a few sparse hairs, but are mostly hairless.

Fruit: Fruit type: seed without plume

[photo of fruit] The disk becomes a head of small, brown seed without tufts of hair.


Pineapple-weed may have originated in the Pacific Northwest or Asia; either way it is not considered native to Minnesota. It's a weedy thing often found in dry disturbed soil, and tends to form colonies. The common name reportedly comes from the pineapple-like smell of crushed leaves and flowers. It is likely far more widespread in the state than the distribution map indicates.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken in Ramsey County.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Lisa R - Nevis (north central)
on: 2009-08-20 14:11:08

Very abundant here. In my yard and along roads.

Posted by: M. Bartz - Southern Carlton County
on: 2010-05-23 08:41:37

As a child I knew this plant as Snakeweed, because my father told me it reminded him of the smell of gardner snake winter dens. I never thought of this plant as smelling like pineapple, yet I have always enjoyed the smell. I can still remember picking this flower in my grandmother's driveway as a small child.

Posted by: Rose - Cottonwood County
on: 2015-05-20 17:34:15

You can find this in Cottonwood County.

Posted by: Lori - Carver (Dahlgren Twp)
on: 2015-07-06 09:59:28

Yes this is prevalent in Carver county with sandy/loam soils.

Posted by: Philip - Lake County, Silver Bay
on: 2016-07-07 21:10:08

During the 1960's growing up in Silver Bay we would have a small number of plants come back year after year in the same area of our yard, the corner where our driveway and the city sidewalk met. Our soil was red clay. After wondering all these years I now know the name of this plant.

Posted by: Mina - Anoka
on: 2018-03-20 15:14:28

I always thought these were strawberry plants. Until I turned 11 then I realized they were weeds.

Posted by: Ken - Plymouth (Hennepin County)
on: 2018-06-21 23:26:02

It's very common in lawns here--but I don't often see full-grown specimens, only ones that have been mowed. Interestingly, in 2016 and 2017, it seemed to largely displace the ragweed that had always lined the median strips of main roads. (Hurray!)

Posted by: JR
on: 2018-07-15 12:22:03

if there was no pineapple scent, it was a different plant? Educate?

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2018-07-15 16:39:19

JR, the "Notes" say the smell is reported to smell like pineapple (that's probably subjective) so take it with a grain of salt. It is rare that smell alone distinguishes different species that otherwise look alike. I don't know of anything else that looks like pineapple weed.

Posted by: Gary - Carlton
on: 2019-03-01 23:19:53

Appears every year in my sand and gravel driveway. Common.

Posted by: Marilyn - Battle Lake
on: 2020-07-11 16:31:04

Along a roadway in our neighborhood in Ottertail County

Posted by: Heather C - Twin cities
on: 2021-03-27 10:13:54

I grew up knowing this as wild chamomile. It grew in the sandy pebbled alleys of my childhood, and my mother hated how it grew in all the cracks of our driveway. The flowers smell sweet and fruity when crushed but I wouldn't say like pineapple. Glad to finally know the common and Latin names.

Posted by: Mandi Rossberg - Blackduck
on: 2022-06-22 12:49:12

Lots of it in our yard. Also called wild chamomile!

Posted by: Sarah - Albert Lea
on: 2023-03-09 01:11:55

I grew up in Albert Lea & this stuff was in a lot of places like around the driveway at our house & in the drier spots of sports fields. I LOVED the smell of them. I wouldn't say it's exactly pineapple smell, but close like pineapple adjacent. Kinda knew they were weeds, but they smelled so good, until they say they need to be eradicated, I'll enjoy them.

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