Ragweed Flower Essence

e-rageedRagweed is such an interesting plant. Many people (here in New England, at least), think that ragweed is another name for goldenrod. Allergies to ragweed pollen are widespread and severe, sending asthmatics to the ER, creating all sorts of upper respiratory symptoms, ear, sinus, and immune symptoms including  joint and muscle and other tissue pain and swelling.

The ragweed/goldenrod confusion seems to arise from the fact that both plants bloom at the same time. As you can see, ragweed, pictured to the right in full bloom, is not a showy plant. The flower spikes are dull green, unlike the brilliant yellow-gold of the goldenrod (below). There is no reason for ragweed to create pretty flowers. It is a veritable pollen-factory, releasing its vast quantities of dust-like pollen granules directly into the air, spread by the slightest breeze, where it can fall on nearby ragweed blossoms and create the next generation of hayfever bombs.

Goldenrod (illustrated below), on the other hand, is pollinated by insects: butterflies, bees, wasps, nectar-eating beetles and moths and flies. Goldenrod in bloom is crawling with  pollinators! You won’t see bugs on ragweed, unless they landed on a plant just to take a break from flying. e-stout-goldenrodRagweed offers no nectar to attract pollinators because the wind does the job. Huge difference in appearance!

Ragweed is in the genus Ambrosia. It has pleasant-smelling leaves. It’s an alien to North America, an invader so invasive that it’s hardly on the radar. It is collectively considered so worthless and ubiquitous that people with allergies and asthma don’t even register it as a hazard and pull it up from roadsides and yards before it blooms.

What is the value of Ragweed flower essence? Astonishing, or not… It’s about ease. Ease of living, of breathing, of being.

 

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