Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #57 Rayless Mayweed or Pineapple-weed

Bradlaugh Fields - Matricaria discoidea

This hardy little plant is another wayside wanderer. Pineappleweed was first cultivated in Britain in 1784, according to the entry in the Online Atlas of British and Irish Flora, but within a hundred years it naturalised in the wild and has become completely at home.

The flower-heads, and to a lesser extent the soft and finely cut leaves have an unmistakeable fruity scent when crushed and, being a close relation of the Chamomile used to make tea, it also has quite a few herbal uses, as the Pharmaceutical Journal Blog explains here, and others here.

Its tiny, shallow flowers are clustered tightly together just as they are in the central yellow button-like structure in the middle of many Daisy family members, only minus the petals round the edge, hence the name ‘Ray-less’ and are easy and convenient for short-tongued insects such as hoverflies to visit.

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