THE ENEMY: Pineappleweed (Chamomilla suaveolens)
Strategy: This is a native winter annual that can be found in most disturbed places. It has a egg-shaped yellow flower head and deeply lobed leaves. The plant can grow to the giant height of 6 inches, but is normally only 3 to 4 inches in height. It greatly resembles Bur-buttercup, other than it does not dry into ‘pokey flowers’. It gets its name from the fragrance produced from the flowers and leaves when crushed as well as the flower body of which resembles a pineapple. It generally grows in highly disturbed sites of which open soil is present.
Attack: Pineappleweed generally grows in disturbed sites such as gardens, landscapes, empty lots, roadsides, and in most crops. Most noticeable is that it tends to grow in finely compacted soils. It grows rather quickly in the early spring thus stealing the valuable nutrients and water that the surrounding plants need. This plant is here and gone by the time the other plants start to flower. It can particularly be a nuisance in newly seeded turf and crops.
Defense: As with most annuals, especially winter annuals, competition is your best tool. In the areas where you see it growing, and when you can, mechanically remove the weed and plant desirable grasses or shrubs as the weed grows where there is no other vegetation growing. Numerous herbicides are effective. In pastures herbicides such as 2,4-D when used very early in the spring, or better herbicides such as Telar XP or Escort XP, Milestone, or Chaparral/Opensight. In open lots Use Vanquish or Banvel based products early in the year. This plant can be confused with many other key weeds in our area so call your local professional for adequate help.