Ragweed Is To Blame For Seasonal Allergies

(credit: Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - It’s like a sibling squabble where the bad one pulls a prank but the good one gets in trouble. Ragweed is the plant that makes so many people sneeze this time of year but goldenrod, blooming at the same time gets the blame!

Ragweed has lacey fernlike leaves and spikes of dull flowers you hardly notice; whereas goldenrod has very showy brilliant yellow flowers you can’t miss.

Since you can see the goldenrod everywhere, people accuse it of being the allergy culprit. The fact is, ragweed pollen is very light and the plants are pollinated by the wind, which blows it in your eyes, on your clothes, and up your nose. Whereas, goldenrod pollen is heavy and sticks to its flowers to lure pollinators like bees and butterflies to your garden.

You want to get rid of Ragweed before it can go to seed – each plant can produce tens of thousands of seeds, which can germinate for up to 40 years – yikes! To see what ragweed looks like, check the photo shown here, then learn more at PSU.edu.

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