The species name, artemisiifolia, is given because the leaves were thought to bear a resemblance to the leaves of Artemisia, the true wormwoods.
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. The distribution of common ragweed in Europe is expected to expand northwards in the future 
It produces 2–4 mm obconic green to brown fruit. 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.
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.
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.
Its wind-blown pollen is additionally highly allergenic.
As of 2005[update] several herbicides were effective against common ragweed, although resistant populations were known to exist. In 2007 several Ambrosia artemisiifolia populations were glyphosate resistant, exclusively in the USA.
As of 2014[update] 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. Zygogramma suturalis was introduced to Russia, and then China, for ragweed control, with very positive initial results.
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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ambrosia artemisiifolia.|
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- 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
- Cf. www.ragweed.eu. 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.
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- GRIN: Species profile of Ambrosia artemisiifolia
- Calflora Database: Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Annual ragweed, Common ragweed, Low ragweed) — non-native/naturalized species in California.
- Jepson Manual eFlora (TJM2) treatment of Ambrosia artemisiifolia — non-native/naturalized species in California.
- UC CalPhotos gallery: Ambrosia artemisiifolia