Matricaria discoidea de Candolle in A. P. de Candolle and A. L. P. P. de Candolle, Prodr.. 6: 50. 1838.
Annuals, (1–)4–40(–50) cm; aromatic (pineapple odor when bruised). Stems 1–10+, usually erect or ascending, sometimes decumbent, branched from bases. Leaf blades (5–)10–65(–85) × 2–20 mm. Heads discoid, (1–)4–50(–300), usually borne singly, sometimes in open, corymbiform arrays. Peduncles 2–25(–30) mm (sometimes villous near heads). Involucres 2.5–3.8 mm. Phyllaries 29–47+ in 3 series, margins mostly entire. Receptacles 2.5–7.5 mm, ± acute or obtuse. Ray florets 0. Discs hemispheric to broadly ovoid, 4–7(–11) × 4–7.5(–10) mm. Disc florets 125–535+; corollas greenish yellow, 1.1–1.3 mm (± glandular), lobes 4(–5). Cypselae pale brown to tan, ± cylindric-obconic (asymmetric, abaxially ± gibbous distally), 1.15–1.5 mm, ribs white (lateral 2 each with reddish brown mucilage gland along ± entire length, glands sometimes distally expanded, abaxial 1–2 weak, sometimes each with elongate mucilaginous gland), faces not glandular; pappi coroniform, entire. 2n = 18. [as M. matricarioides]
Flowering early summer–fall. open areas , bare disturbed areas and rural or urban waste grounds , sometimes alkaline , roadsides , railroads , footpaths , cultivated and abandoned fields and gardens , irrigation ditches , stream banks , sandbars ;0–2700 m;Alaska; Ariz.; Ark.; Calif.; Colo.; Conn.; Del.; Idaho; Ill.; Ind.; Iowa; Kansas; Ky.; La.; Maine; Md.; Mass.; Mich.; Minn.; Miss.; Mo.; Mont.; Nev.; N.H.; N.J.; N.Mex.; N.Y.; N.C.; N.Dak.; Ohio; Okla.; Oreg.; Pa.; R.I.; S.C.; S.Dak.; Tenn.; Tex.; Utah; Vt.; Va.; Wash.; W.Va.; Wis.; Wyo.;Greenland; St. Pierre and Miquelon; introduced in Eurasia; Australia.;
Matricaria discoidea has been used as a medicinal and aromatic plant by Native American tribes (D. E. Moerman 1998). It also is considered a weed, and it is resistant to a photosystem II inhibitor herbicide in the United Kingdom (www.weedscience.org). It is a northwestern North American native that has spread to eastern and northern North America and elsewhere (E. McClintock 1993b; E. G. Voss 1972–1996, vol. 3; A. Cronquist 1994). NatureServe (www.natureserve.org) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (plants.usda.gov) erroneously present M. discoidea as introduced on the continent. Its natural habitat is ill-defined because the species has become ruderal even in its native range. For discussion of the nomenclature of this taxon, see S. Rauschert (1974); K. N. Gandhi and R. D. Thomas (1991); Cronquist; and Voss.“Matricaria matricarioides (Lessing) Porter” cannot be applied to the American taxon; M. matricarioides was originally published as Artemisia matricarioides Lessing, a new name for Tanacetum pauciflorum Richardson (see S. Rauschert 1974), itself a synonym of T. huronense Nuttall. W. Greuter (pers. comm.), who accepts M. discodea, considers Rauschert’s treating Artemisia matricarioides as homotypic with T. pauciflorum as equivalent to a lectotype designation.