The Accused and the Culprit

Hayfever season affects so many people. The sneezing, watery eyes begin, and all the sufferers see is the profilic bloomer goldenrod. It gets accused for all their suffering. They never notice the actual culprit, the ragweed (Ambrosia sp).

Do you see the ragweed in this picture taken in my backyard?

I rest my case.

Average height of most ragweeds is 6 feet or so. Giant ragweed can reach 17 feet tall! Peterson’s Field Guide to Wildflower shows 31 species. Illinois has 5 species.

Goldenrods (Solidago sp.) grow to 5 feet tall, with Illinois having 25 species.

This picture shows the male ragweed flowers beginning to bloom,

and this one shows them from the underneath side. Ragweed is pollinated by the wind. Insects pollinate the goldenrods.  (The flowers in this picture haven’t started blooming like in the picture above.)

Female flowers are practically hidden in the leaf axils. If you look closely, you can see yellow stamens.

These flowers were pollinated, and the seeds are developing.

Wonder if this holds one or more seeds?

Obviously, goldenrod is attractive to insects and not the cause of hayfever.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. The goldenrod is beautiful! And I learned something new again 🙂

    Reply

  2. Posted by Therese on September 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Another great job! Achooooo!

    Reply

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