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Like other ragweeds, the airborne pollen of Western Ragweed (Ambrosia psilostachya) can cause allergic reactions in people during the late summer and fall. This plant has high ecological value to birds, grasshoppers, and other insects. Across its range, there is some variability in the pubescence of its foliage, and in the number and shape of the primary lobes of its leaves. Western Ragweed resembles Common Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) to some extent. However, the leaves of Western Ragweed are usually simple-pinnate, while the leaves of Common Ragweed are double-pinnate and more deeply lobed. Plants that display mixed characteristics may be hybrids of these two species. Return


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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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