Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

from the June 5, 2005 Newsletter issued from the Sierra Nevada foothills somewhat east of Placerville, California, USA

In the worn-smooth dirt exactly at the entrance to the garden a number of stunted, frequently trampled, inch-high weeds has sprung up. Their leaves are like those of milfoil so when I plucked a plant to see if it smelled as pungent as milfoil, I discovered the sleepy fragrance of chamomile.

At least two different plants are known by the name of Chamomile. One is "English Chamomile," CHAMAEMELUM NOBILE, and the other is "German Chamomile," MATRICARIA RECUTITA. German Chamomile is the one usually dried for chamomile tea, while the English one is preferred for use in potpourri mixtures. Other closely related species can have odors similar to "real chamomile," and the species beside my garden gate was one of those relations.

My garden-gate plant often goes by the name of Pineapple Weed. It was MATRICARIA DISCOIDEA, thus belonging to one of the genera of the "real chamomiles." You can see Pineapple Weed here.