Sep. 22, 2018

common ragweed, Ambrosia artemisiifolia

So, we've got the three divisions of the aster family all figured out. It's all clear, and everything is in its place. Then what the heck do we do with this pest! Tiny little heads of staminate flowers that often look like they've got pistils sticking out (see lowest head above the stem). Globs of pistillate flowers at the bases of the spikes (lower left) that don't look to fit in any category at all! Every damn time we try to organize nature, she throws us a curve! No wonder so many of us are allergic to ragweed. Actually, ragweed does fit into the division without ray flowers, but in its very creative way. And very successfully. Common ragweed grows in every state and province except LB, and YT, and is now invading Eurasia. Ives Fen Preserve, Lenawee Co MI, 9/16/18.