Common Ragweed
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Common Ragweed
A Naturalized Unknown Photo: Aniruddha Singhamahapatra
Common name: Common Ragweed, Annual ragweed, Low ragweed
Botanical name: Ambrosia artemisiifolia    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Ambrosia elatior, Ambrosia maritima, Ambrosia paniculata

Common Ragweed is an annual plant that emerges in late spring. It propagates mainly by rhizomes, but also by seed. It is much-branched, and grows up to 70 cm in height. The pinnately divided soft and hairy leaves are 3-12 cm long. Cream to pale-green male flowers occur in terminal spikes or racemes above the female flowers, which are few in number. Its pollen is wind-dispersed, and can be a strong allergen to people with hay fever. 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 birds. Common Ragweed is native to North America, now naturalized world over. Flowering: July-October.
Medicinal uses: Common Ragweed was a traditional medicinal plant for Native American tribes, including the Cherokee, Lakota, Iroquois, Dakota, and Delaware.

Identification credit: Aniruddha Singhamahapatra Photographed in Yazali, Arunachal Pradesh.

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