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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

17 October, 2015

Pineappleweed: a fruit squash

Pineappleweed (Matricaria discoidea) has two distinctive characteristics that mean that it should never go unidentified by anyone who takes the trouble to look at it; its petals and its scent.
I say that its petals are distinctive but they are distinctive by their absence. When you look at pineappleweed it looks every bit a daisy flower like scentless mayweed or chamomile except the petals are just not there, they have not fallen off, the plant never had any in the first place! Despite this lack of petals the plant obviously manages to pollinate and spread as it is one of our most successful colonisers of waste ground and paths. The central piece of the flower looks a little like a pineapple but that is not how it got its name.
The name comes from its second distinctive feature, its scent. Pick a piece of pineappleweed, squash it your fingers and take a sniff. What is that familiar smell? Yes, of course, its smells like pineapple.
It seems that this is a native of north America 

Read more: Pineappleweed: a fruit squash