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This is a native species.

Matricaria discoidea
Matricaria discoidea. Synonyms: Artemisia matricarioides, Chamomilla suaveolens, Lepidotheca suaveolens, Matricaria matricarioides. (Pineapple Weed)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Openings, meadows. Spring, summer, fall.
Head of Upper Rough Canyon Trail, July 17, 2023.

The shape of the rayless flower-head, the pineapple scent of the plant, and the finely dissected leaves help to identify this species. Matricaria discoidea likes roadsides and other disturbed areas.

The species is native to northwestern North America but has spread to almost all states and provinces.

Matricaria discoidea is a close relative of Wild Chamomile, Matricaria chamomilla, a native of Europe found only in a few areas of North America (see map below) and known in the Four Corners area only from one 2023 collection in Colorado by Travis Ward on Coal Bank Pass.

Photo courtesy of Travis Ward.  Matricaria chamomilla

Matricaria discoidea does not have ray flowers; Matricaria chamomilla does have ray flowers.

Almost all sources I consulted give the elevation range of Matricaria discoidea as sea level to 9,000 feet, but Ackerfield's Flora of Colorado gives the range as 6,000 to 10,500' in Colorado and it was at the 10,500' elevation at the upper Rough Canyon Trailhead that I found the plants shown on this page.

The plants shown on this page are the first of their species to be documented in Montezuma County, Colorado.

Linnaeus named this genus in 1753 and A. P. de Candolle and A. L. P. P. de Candolle, named this species in 1838 from a collection made by David Douglas in California on either of his western North America collecting trips of 1825-1827 or 1829-1834.

Welsh indicates (A Utah Flora, 5th edition, 2015) that he follows Cronquist (Intermountain Flora) in the choice of the correct name for this species: Matricaria matricarioides. Welsh states, " ...by convoluted reasoning FNA [Flora of North America]... rejects the name in favor of M. discoidea DC...."

The Greek "matrix", meaning "womb", was used by Linnaeus because the plant was used to treat afflictions of the uterus.

Matricaria discoidea

Matricaria discoidea. Synonyms: Artemisia matricarioides, Chamomilla suaveolens, Lepidotheca suaveolens, Matricaria matricarioides. (Pineapple Weed)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Openings, meadows. Spring, summer.
Head of Upper Rough Canyon Trail, July 17, 2023.

Numerous small phyllaries, sometimes said to have hyaline (translucent) margins, are more likely (as shown at left) to have scarious margins (dry, thin, scale-like, and not green). The phyllaries are stacked so thickly on top of each other that they appear to be imbedded in cotton.

There are no ray flowers, hence the name "discoidea".

Matricaria discoidea

Matricaria discoidea. Synonyms: Artemisia matricarioides, Chamomilla suaveolens, Lepidotheca suaveolens, Matricaria matricarioides. (Pineapple Weed)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Openings, meadows. Spring, summer.
Head of Upper Rough Canyon Trail, July 17, 2023.

Leaves are finely dissected one to three times and can be glabrous or pubescent.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Matricaria discoidea

Range map for Matricaria discoidea

Matricaria chamomilla

Range map for Matricaria chamomilla