Pineapple weed, Matricaria discoidea
Pineapple weed is easy to find: it grows in yards, on roadsides and paths, in fields, and on shorelines – in short, just about everywhere. It is also very tough, and is very resistant to being trampled or even driven over.
Pineapple weed is highly aromatic, with a flavour that is an exotic combination of pineapple and other fruit, chamomile, and liquorice. The flowers have a particularly strong taste. The flavour goes very well with strawberries or raspberries.
Something to try
To make pineapple weed-flavoured fruit juice, start by putting half a decilitre of honey and the juice of one lemon in a saucepan with one decilitre of water. Bring the mixture to the boil, and then allow to cool. When cool, add one litre of strawberries or raspberries, and a couple of tablespoons of finely chopped pineapple weed leaves and flowers. For the flavour to develop, allow the juice to stand for half an hour before serving. Stir it occasionally during this time.
Gathering the plants
Pineapple weed is a common wild species throughout Finland, except in northernmost Lapland. The leaves and flowers are edible.
Other interesting facts
The origin of pineapple weed is disputed; some have said that it originated in Northeast Asia, whereas others believe claim that it is native to the western regions of North America. The first finding of the species in Finland was in 1849, in Helsinki. Now it is found almost everywhere in Finland.