Family: Asteraceae

Scientific Name: Ambrosia artemisifolia

Common Name: Ragweed, Common Ragweed

DescriptionThis plant produces light wind blown pollen that causes hay fever.
Plant TypeWeeds
Moisturevery tolerant
Soil & Sitevery tolerant
FlowersSeparate male and female flowers are on the same plant (monoecious). Male flowers are abundant up and down the side of the spike (racemes), female are in the axial of the lower leaves. Pollinated by air-bore pollen. Flowers are green with yellow pollen
LeavesHas attractive fern-like, deeply cut, foliage.
Stemsstems can have a purple tinge
Rootsshallow root system
Dimensions1-5 feet, most common in the mid range
Propagationspread by seeds
Native SiteNative to Europe, wide spread especially in the eastern part of the USA
Misc FactsAmbrosia means the "Food or nectar of the God's. How a wretched plant like this obtained this name is beyond me. Artemissifolia describes the deeply cut leaves.
Author's NotesDuring the "season for sneezin", the people afflicted with Hay fever, blame their problem on the stately Goldenrod. They sneeze, see the yellow flowers of the Goldenrod and put two and two together and get five. The pollen of the Goldenrod is heavy and doesn't cause allergy problems. The Ragweed’s pollen is very light and is one of the main vectors of these problems. I always show this plant to my Horticulture classes, they are surprised to learn what really causes hay-fever.
Notes & Reference#14-Hedge maids and Fairy Candles (Jack Sanders), #19-Common Weeds ( USDA Agricultural Research Service)
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