Wild Weeds – Common Ragweed
Wild Weeds – Weed of the Month
Common Ragweed is a bit of an undercover nuisance, wreaking havoc on allergy sufferers in the fall. It flowers and pollen are small, and the rather inconspicuous plant, doesn’t stand out much in a natural background. However this little green plant is the main cause of fall allergies. Often, Goldenrod is blamed because its vibrant yellow color makes it stand out and noticeable, but truly it is Ragweed pollen causing you to sneeze. Ragweed pollen is light and easily swept up by the wind, bringing it right to your nose. One plant can produce over 1 billion pollen spores.
Common Ragweed is most often found in disturbed sites, like fields, roadsides, ditches, and tree lines. It is a prolific seed producer, producing over 62,000 seeds per plant, causing it to spread rapidly. The plant can compete with others easily and can take over an area if left unmanaged. The fern like appearance and small green flowers make the plant blend in, so don’t expect for this one to catch your eye.
Ragweed, the main offender of inducing hay fever symptoms, is still a beautiful plant that is native to Florida. Just be sure to grab a box of tissues if you’re going to be out and about in Florida’s natural areas.
Wild Weeds is a monthly spotlight written by Alicia Halbritter, Baker County Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent. Wild Weeds highlights weeds you may find in Florida on the roadside, while hiking, in the forest, or possibly even in your yard. Searching for more information on a particular plant? Email Alicia at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information/questions.