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What is Ragweed?

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Ragweed is notorious for causing allergies in many people, but did you know you may also cross-react with sunflower, chamomile, cantaloupes, bananas, watermelon and daisies?  There are several different types of ragweed.

Common Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia): Common ragweed is the most wide

spread and well-known type of ragweed. It is native to North America but has now spread to other parts of the world, including Europe and Asia. Common ragweed can grow up to three feet tall. It produces small, greenish flowers.

Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida): As the name suggests, giant ragweed is the largest species of ragweed, capable of reaching heights of up to 15 feet. It is native to North America and is commonly found in open areas, such as fields and roadsides. Giant ragweed has large, deeply lobed leaves that can measure up to a foot in length.

Western Ragweed (Ambrosia psilostachya): Western ragweed, also known as perennial ragweed, is native to the western United States and parts of Mexico. It is a perennial plant, meaning it lives for more than two years, and can grow up to six feet tall.

False Ragweed (Ambrosia confertiflora): False ragweed, also called bur ragweed, is native to the southeastern United States. It is a short-lived annual plant that typically grows to about three feet tall.

Ragweed species are highly adaptable and can thrive in various environments, including disturbed areas, roadsides, fields, and gardens. Their ability to produce abundant pollen and disperse it over long distances through wind contributes to their reputation as major allergens.  Ragweed season runs from typically late summer until frost.

Fun Facts

-Ragweed is not found in Alaska….yet!
-Other plants related to ragweed include sage, burweed marsh elder, rabbit brush, mugwort, groundsel bush, and eupatorium (Joy Pye Weed, Boneset).
-Ragweed has been found two miles up in the air.
-Ragweed’s peak time is ‘supposedly’ in the morning!