|These are the insignificant-looking flowers that cause so much misery in late-summer hay-fever season|
The ragweeds go to show that just because a plant is a native doesn't mean that it's desirable. I love the subtitle of this article, "Revenge of a native" from which I swipe this eye-watering fact:
A single ragweed plant can produce up to a billion pollen grains, and it is estimated that more than 10 million pounds of ragweed pollen are produced annually in the U.S.
|Goldenrod (Solidago) – in the background of this shot – is much showier, therefore, more noticeable than the sneakily inconspicuous ragweed in front. As they bloom at the same time, goldenrod often gets falsely accused of causing hay fever.|
|Giant ragweed and its shorter cousin common ragweed (Ambrosia artimesiifolia) produce a prodigious amount of airborne pollen in August and September. Goldenrod, on the other hand, has pollen too heavy to be carried by wind, and their flowers must be insect-pollinated. Bees and butterflies love them. All three are members of the enormous aster family (Compositae).|
|Here's just one of the huge stands of giant ragweed seen in Taylor Creek Park this morning. You might find some growing in sunny back alleys or along fences. Get out your hankies! Then catch them before they set next year's seeds.|