Common ragweed Facts

Common ragweed Facts
Common ragweed, also known as bursages, is herbaceous plant that belongs to the daisy family. It originates from tropical and subtropical parts of South and North America, but it can be found around the world today. Common ragweed grows near the rivers, on the meadows, pastures and seasonally flooded areas. It prefers moist, fertile soil and areas that provide enough sun. Common ragweed induces health problems in individuals diagnosed with hay fever. People fight against common ragweed using various herbicides.
Interesting Common ragweed Facts:
Common ragweed has erect, green, hairy stem that can reach 3 to 12 feet in height.
Common ragweed produces two types of leaves. Large leaves divided in 3 to 5 lobes with serrated edges and long petioles are located on the lower part of the stem. Smaller, lanceolate leaves, covered with hairs on the bottom side can be seen near the base of the flowers.
Common ragweed produces individual male and female flowers on the same plant (monoecious plant). Male flowers are organized in the cylindrically-shaped spike on top of the flowering stalk. Female flowers are born in the axils of leaves. Common ragweed produces yellowish-green inconspicuous flowers from August to October.
Common ragweed produces triangular- or diamond-shaped seed after wind-induced pollination. Seed are covered with hard shell and few sharp spines.
Pollen of common ragweed is the primary cause of the hay fever in the world. One plant produces 1.25 million grains of pollen per day and billions grains of pollen in a lifetime. Pollen is very light and it can travel 125 miles away from the mother plant on a windy day. Typical symptoms of allergy include nasal congestion, sneezing, itching and swelling of eyelids.
Leaves of common ragweed were used in the past to prevent bleeding and to reduce swelling of mucous membranes.
Cows, sheep and horses like to eat common ragweed. Excess consumption of this plant can change the taste of milk due to high content of bitter substances in the leaves of common ragweed.
Eastern cottontails, voles, grasshoppers like to eat leaves of common ragweed, while dark-eyed juncos, red-bellied woodpeckers and purple finch prefer seed.
Native Americans cultivated common ragweed as a source of food before maize.
Seed of common ragweed is edible. It contains 47% of proteins and 38% of fat. Seed tastes like wheat. Common ragweed can produce up to 5.000 seed per season.
Native Americans used stalks of ragweed for the manufacture of ropes.
Leaves and stems of common ragweed were used as a source of green pigment in the past.
Common ragweed contains substances with antibacterial (kill bacteria) and antiviral (kill viruses) properties.
Common ragweed effectively removes lead from the soil in the polluted areas.
Common ragweed is annual plant which completes its life cycle in one year.

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