Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Common Ragweed, Annual Ragweed, Annual Bur-Sage
Ambrosia artemisiifolia

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ambrosia (am-BRO-zhuh) (Info)
Species: artemisiifolia (ar-te-miz-ee-eye-FOH-lee-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Ambrosia elatior
Synonym:Ambrosia artemisiifolia var. elatior

One member has or wants this plant for trade.


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction
Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 13 photos.
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1 positive
3 neutrals
7 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative lzyjo On Sep 21, 2014, lzyjo from Thompsons Station, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Contrary to its name Ambrosia, there is nothing heavenly about this plant. Grows wildly along fence lines and areas that aren't mowed. It's inconspicuous green flower heads allow ragweed to flourish unnoticed. Poor old goldenrod usually gets the blame for hayfever when it's the ragweed that's growing right next door.

Things start slow. Then by July or August, the plants shoot up and unleash their pollen-ridden flowers. After a rain, the plants can be pulled out. That's my preferred method of disposal. Stems on the largest plants are thick and woody, and some need to be cut at the base instead of pulled out if you wish to remove them. The only good news is that it tends to grow so closely together that the plants stunt themselves and don't reach their full massive size.

Although I an not allergic to to the pollen, pulling the plants or touching them creates a rash of red bumps/specks on the inside of my arms. Not particularly itchy but unpleasant nonetheless. This one can irritate your skin, your eyes and your psyche!

Negative cinemike On Sep 12, 2012, cinemike from CREZIERES
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

Approximately one person in ten is allergic to the pollen of this plant. If that is simply inhaled, then, unless you have severe asthma, the result is merely unpleasant. But if you get a whack of pollen in the eyes it is catastrophic - swollen eyelids, eyes continually watering for hours and the sensation of having a dozen needles in the eye, when you blink.
I suffered for six hours the other evening and I NEVER want to do that ever again!

Neutral theNobody14161 On Jan 17, 2010, theNobody14161 from Kalamazoo, MI wrote:

Contrary to melody, about any native plant can beat out ragweed, just need the soil to be undisturbed.

Negative Malus2006 On Feb 19, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

When people often think of ragweeds they think it is the Giant Ragweed but actually it is not that common - may persists in certain locations but are very common only when widespread distrubation of land occurs and then only last a few years until grasses choke it out. Common Ragweed is often just under our noses without us noticing it - it is very common - when you drive on freeways, etc - you will notice a zone- when the grass end, there are lighter green very small plants growing in gravels and exposed soils - those are common ragweed - and they exist in such vast numbers it is hard to believe but they are also resistant to salts and higher level of pollution from car exhausts. May exist in low levels in gardens - in exposured soils or thin vegetation. Also found in weedy grass areas like old industrial and commerical locations - one of the first plant to get established in what little soil accumulate in the cracks of asphalts and concrete. I have seen it in downtown cities, popping out of cracks. In certain locations it is also very common in the first few inches of the lawn that edge the sidewalk or the street - only grow a few inches tall while in garden form it grows bigger to about roughly 1 foot.

Neutral frostweed On Dec 2, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Common Ragweed, Annual Ragweed, Annual Bur-Sage Ambrosia artemisiifolia is native to Texas and other States.

Negative cherishlife On Sep 14, 2006, cherishlife from Pocola, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

I can't believe there is actually a positive comment on this horrible weed. I just yanked a few out of my field to keep them from going to seed and got choked up from the weed itself, it hasn't even bloomed yet.

Positive BotanyDave On Dec 15, 2004, BotanyDave from Norman, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

A very useful plant- containing any number of interesting compounds! Many people enjoy the smell of this plant (before flowering), before they learn what it is... Very delicate yellow flowers in the fall- wind pollinated, of course. The color of this plant may vary slightly. Much like its cousin A. psilostachya- but without the hastle of trying to control extremely vigorous growth... one firm yank and it is gone. This plant is grazed by cattle. Plants in my neck of the woods seldom reach higher than 3 feet.

Negative MotherNature4 On Jul 11, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Wish we could get rid of this common culprit.

Negative melody On Jul 7, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

One of the most common roadside weeds in North America. It thrives in cultivated land as well as rocky parking lots.

Common Ragweed is said to be the main culprit of allergy/ hay fever sufferers symptoms because of the large amounts of pollen it puts into the air each Summer and Fall.

Although wildlife makes use of the seeds for food, it is a very invasive and troublesome weed.

Negative lupinelover On Jan 25, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Although the seeds of this weed attract birds, it is considered to be a noxious weed and many US localities forbid its growth because of its allergy-causing pollen.

Neutral mystic On Sep 21, 2002, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Ragweed pollen may bother people with hay fever allergies and asthma. It gets it's name from the raggedy shape of the leaves.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Bartow, Florida
Madison, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Hinsdale, Illinois
Jacksonville, Illinois
Benton, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Melbourne, Kentucky
Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Piedmont, Missouri
Glouster, Ohio
North Ridgeville, Ohio
Vinton, Ohio
Edmond, Oklahoma
Pocola, Oklahoma
Arlington, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Falling Waters, West Virginia

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