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Ambrosia artemisiifolia

Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.

 

Common Ragweed, Ragweed, Bitterweed, Annual Ragweed, Roman-wormwood, Blackweed, Carrot Weed, Hay Fever Weed, Stammerwort, Stickweed, Tassel Weed, American Wormwood

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderAsteralesFlowering plants with a central disk flower and surrounding petals, like daisies
FamilyAsteraceaeThe aster family, which also includes daisies and sunflowers; from the Greek ἀστήρ, “star,” for the star-shaped flowers
GenusAmbrosiaIt is not known why this genus is named from the Greek ἀμβροσία, or “food of the gods”
SpeciesartemisiifoliaMeans “mugwort leaves”

About plant names...

Nobody seems to know why ragweed, best known for bedeviling allergy sufferers worldwide, is a member of genus Ambrosia, the Greek food of the gods said to be responsible for the gods’ immortality. Perhaps, as this Wikipedia article suggests, the name simply refers to ragweeds’ own apparent immortality: they are robust competitors considered by many to be invasive, and are among the few plants that show up on more noxious weed lists than on naturalist web sites. Ragweed is a North American native plant.

Identification: Plants are 8-79" (20-200 cm) tall, with stems that are green, pink-purple, or purple-spotted, with long, rough hairs. They are fairly easy to miss—even when in flower, they tend to blend in with their surroundings. Leaves are deeply divided, a bit similar to carrot leaves, 1½-4" (4-10 cm) long, pinnate or bipinnate. Flowerheads are long (1-4" (2.5-10 cm)) and narrow, covered with tiny yellow flowers ¹/₁₆-⅛" (2-4 mm) in size. At first the flowers are green.

Medical: Goldenrods, the widespread, showy, yellow-topped weeds, are often blamed for causing allergies because they disperse pollen at the same time that ragweed does. But ragweed is the culprit. As for medicinal benefits for ragweed, I wasn’t able to find any.

Online References:

Ambrosia artemisiifolia on the Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Ambrosia artemisiifolia at Illinois Wildflowers

Ambrosia artemisiifolia on Wildflowers of the United States

Ambrosia artemisiifolia on the USDA Plants Database

Ambrosia artemisiifolia on the Global Invasive Species Database

Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Common Ragweed, Ragweed, Bitterweed, Annual Ragweed, Roman-wormwood, Blackweed, Carrot Weed, Hay Fever Weed, Stammerwort, Stickweed, Tassel Weed, American Wormwood)

8/11/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 12 × 17" (29 × 44 cm)

Ambrosia artemisiifolia description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Common Ragweed, Ragweed, Bitterweed, Annual Ragweed, Roman-wormwood, Blackweed, Carrot Weed, Hay Fever Weed, Stammerwort, Stickweed, Tassel Weed, American Wormwood)

8/4/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 8 × 12" (20 × 31 cm) ID is uncertain

Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Common Ragweed, Ragweed, Bitterweed, Annual Ragweed, Roman-wormwood, Blackweed, Carrot Weed, Hay Fever Weed, Stammerwort, Stickweed, Tassel Weed, American Wormwood)

8/18/2010 · J. Harry Rich Woods, off Nod Rd., Groton, MA
≈ 2½ × 3½" (6.6 × 9.8 cm)

Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Common Ragweed, Ragweed, Bitterweed, Annual Ragweed, Roman-wormwood, Blackweed, Carrot Weed, Hay Fever Weed, Stammerwort, Stickweed, Tassel Weed, American Wormwood)

8/18/2010 · J. Harry Rich Woods, off Nod Rd., Groton, MA
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm)

Range:

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