Ragweed

Aug 31, 2019

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Feel free to bring flowering stems of goldenrod indoors – with insect-disseminated pollen it doesn’t cause allergies. It’s ragweed that makes copious amounts of nose-tickling pollen so light weight that winds blow it far and wide. Our most common ragweed is Ambrosia artesimifolia (no one seems to know why it’s called Ambrosia – the food of the Gods), and usually it tops out at a couple of feet. But in the upper half of the state, on heavier soils, giant ragweed thrives as a major pest. It easily gets over ten feet tall and makes pollen and seeds in even more massive quantities than its shorter relative. Ragweed seeds are tiny, with a beak that helps them stick to other surfaces, and now these native ragweeds are noxious weeds worldwide as they’ve been uninvited hitchhikers in grain shipments delivered to other countries.