Ambrosia artemisiifolia

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Ambrosia artemisiifolia
Ambrosia artemisiifolia plant7 (11741895306).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Ambrosia
Species: A. artemisiifolia
Binomial name
Ambrosia artemisiifolia
  • Ambrosia artemisiaefolia L.
  • Ambrosia chilensis Hook. & Arn.
  • Ambrosia elata Salisb.
  • Ambrosia elatior L.
  • Ambrosia glandulosa Scheele
  • Ambrosia monophylla (Walter) Rydb.
  • Ambrosia paniculata Michx.
  • Ambrosia peruviana Cabrera 1941 not Willd. 1805 nor DC. 1836
  • Iva monophylla Walter

Ambrosia artemisiifolia, with the common names common ragweed, annual ragweed, and low ragweed, is a species of the genus Ambrosia native to regions of the Americas.[1][2]


The species name, artemisiifolia, is given because the leaves were thought to bear a resemblance to the leaves of Artemisia, the true wormwoods.

It has also been called the common names: American wormwood, bitterweed, blackweed, carrot weed, hay fever weed, Roman wormwood, short ragweed, stammerwort, stickweed, tassel weed.[1][3]


The plant is native to: North America across Canada, the eastern and central United States, the Great Plains, and in Alaska; the Caribbean on Cuba, Hispaniola, and Jamaica; and South America in the southern bioregion (Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay), the western bioregion (Bolivia, Peru), and Brazil.[1][4][5][6]

It is the most widespread species of the genus in North America, which most of the other species of Ambrosia are endemic to.


Ambrosia artemisiifoliais an annual plant that emerges in late spring. It propagates mainly by rhizomes, but also by seed.[3]

It is much-branched, and grows up to 7 decimetres (2.3 ft) in height.[7] The pinnately divided soft and hairy leaves are 3–12 centimetres (1.2–4.7 in) long.[7]

Its bloom period is July to October in North America.[7] Its pollen is wind-dispersed, and can be a strong allergen to people with hay fever.[3][8]

It produces 2–4 mm obconic green to brown fruit.[7] It sets seed in later summer or autumn. Since the seeds persist into winter and are numerous and rich in oil, they are relished by songbirds and upland game birds.[3]

Invasive species[edit]

Common ragweed, Ambrosia artemisiifolia, is a widespread invasive species, and can become a noxious weed, that has naturalized in: Europe; temperate Asia and the Indian subcontinent; temperate northern and southern Africa and Macronesia; Oceania in Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii; and Southwestern North America in California and the Southwestern United States.[1][7][9][10][11][12][13][14]

Common ragweed is a very competitive weed and can produce yield losses in soybeans as high as 30%. Control with night tillage reduces emergence by around 45%. Small grains in rotation will also suppress common ragweed if they are overseeded with clover. Otherwise, the ragweed will grow and mature and produce seeds in the small grain stubble.

Ragweed control[edit]

As of 2005 several herbicides were effective against common ragweed, although resistant populations were known to exist.[15] In 2007 several Ambrosia artemisiifolia populations were glyphosate resistant, exclusively in the USA.[16]

As of 2014 the ragweed leaf beetle, Ophraella communa, has been found south of the Alps in southern Switzerland and northern Italy. Many of the attacked plants were completely defoliated.[17]

SMARTER is a European interdisciplinary network of experts involved in the control of ragweed, health care professionals, aerobiologists, ecologists, economists, and atmospheric and agricultural modellers.[18]



Ambrosia artemisiifolia was a traditional medicinal plant for Native American tribes, including the Cherokee, Lakota, Iroquois, Dakota, and Delaware.[19]


Ambrosia artemisiifolia is used in phytoremediation projects remediating soil pollution, for removing heavy metals such as Lead from contaminated soil.[20]



  1. ^ a b c d GRIN—Germplasm Resources Information Network; Global Web v report on Ambrosia artemisiifolia . accessed 26 August 2016.
  2. ^ Calflora: Ambrosia artemisiifolia
  3. ^ a b c d NPIN−Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Information Network: Ambrosia artemisiifolia
  4. ^ Biota of North America Program county distribution map (2014)
  5. ^ Hokche, O., P. E. Berry & O. Huber. (eds.) 2008. Nuevo Catálogo de la Flora Vascular de Venezuela 1–859. Fundación Instituto Botánico de Venezuela, Caracas.
  6. ^ Jørgensen, P. M., M. H. Nee & S. G. Beck. (eds.) 2015 en adelante. Catalogo de las plantas vasculares de Bolivia (adiciones).
  7. ^ a b c d e Jepson eFlora (TJM2): Ambrosia artemisiifolia . accessed 26 August 2016.
  8. ^ "North American ragweed to bring autumn allergy misery to Europe."
  9. ^ Flora of North America Vol. 21 Page 15 Ambrosia artemisiifolia Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 988. 1753.
  10. ^ Flora of China Vol. 20-21 Page 876, 877 豚草 tun cao Ambrosia artemisiifolia Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 988. 1753.
  11. ^ Flora Italiana − Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.
  12. ^ Atlas of Living Australia: Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Annual Ragweed)
  13. ^ INRA - The common ragweed
  14. ^; Final report: "EC Assessing and Controlling the spread and the effects of Common ragweed in Europe"
  15. ^ A. Davis, K. Renner, C. Sprague, L. Dyer, D. Mutch (2005). Integrated Weed Management. MSU.
  16. ^ Stephen B Powles (April 2008). "Evolved glyphosate-resistant weeds around the world: lessons to be learnt". Pest Management Science Pest Management Science. 64 (4): 360–365. doi:10.1002/ps.1525. 
  17. ^ Ophraella communa, the ragweed leaf beetle, has successfully landed in Europe: fortunate coincidence or threat? Weed Research, Volume 54, Issue 2, pages 109–119, April 2014, DOI: 10.1111/wre.12072
  18. ^ Cf. The project runs from 2013 to 2017 in the frame of the EU programme COST. More than 120 participants from 33 countries are participating in 2013.
  19. ^ Native American Ethnobotany Database on Ambrosia artemisiifolia . accessed 26 August 2016.
  20. ^ Phytoremediation + Ambrosia artemisiifolia

External links[edit]