Common ragweed

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. December 2017.

Scientific name: Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.

Common name(s): common ragweed, annual ragweed, short ragweed

Link(s): USDA PLANTS Profile, Go Botany, NPIN Profile

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)



-leaves are

  • simple lobed leaflets
  • alternate
  • opposite

-may be confused with perennial ragweed (A. psilostachya); see left sidebar of Go Botany webpage

-documented in New England hybridizing with A. trifida; see Flora Novae Angliae information at bottom of Go Botany webpage


-disturbed sites


-meadow and fields


-produces a large quantity of seeds used by birds and small mammals

Natural History:

-native to North America

-major cause of hay fever

  • the pollen is harvested to treat hay fever

-used by Native Americans as an herbal medicine


Haines, A., Farnsworth, E., Morrison, G., & New England Wild Flower Society. (2011). New England Wildflower Society’s Flora Novae Angliae: A manual for the identification of native and naturalized higher vascular plants of New England. Framingham, MA: New England Wild Flower Society. p. 373.

Go Botany. “Ambrosia Artemisiifolia L.” Ambrosia Artemisiifolia (Common Ragweed): Go Botany, 2021,