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Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Annual ragweed)
Smith, R.W.

Ambrosia artemisiifolia

Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.

Annual Ragweed, Short Ragweed

Asteraceae (Aster Family)


USDA Symbol: AMAR2

USDA Native Status: L48 (NI), HI (I), CAN (N)

Coarse, hairy-stemmed annual with inconspicuous flowers in elongated clusters.

This plant, not Goldenrod, is a cause of hay fever, recognized by all who suffer the discomfiting allergy. Pollination is by wind, as indicated by the drabness of the flowers, which do not attract insects. The best control is to permit perennial plants to crowd this annual out. Since the seeds persist into winter and are numerous and rich in oil, they are relished by songbirds and upland game birds.


From the Image Gallery

16 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 5 feet tall, often much shorter.
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NL , NS , NT , ON , PE , QC , SK
Native Distribution: Throughout North America, except far north.
Native Habitat: Grows profusely in open mixed grass praries and roadsides. Native to North America although they are also found in Eastern Europe.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Conditions Comments: Considered an invasive plant. In gardens ragweed can be contained by hoeing or hand-weeding young plants. It propagates mainly by rhizomes but also by seed. Ragweeds unleash copious amounts of pollen into the wind. So those prone to hay fever watch out.


Use Medicinal: Tea from leaves applied to swellings, taken to stop vomiting and bloody stools
Warning: Plant parts can cause skin irritation if touched.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Natural Biodiversity - Johnstown, PA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 1115 Collected Oct 12, 1994 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe
NPSOT 0547 Collected Oct 4, 1987 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe

2 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Ambrosia artemisiifolia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Ambrosia artemisiifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Ambrosia artemisiifolia


Record Modified: 2022-11-09
Research By: NPC

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