• 63°

Darrell Blackwelder: The curse of the giant ragweed

If you’ve had a runny nose, sneezing or other hay fever symptoms lately, you may be experiencing the curse of giant ragweed pollen.

It’s a common allergy weed found in all the lower United States except for Nevada. The annual weed is commonly found along roadsides, fence line and abandoned fields in Rowan County.

Reaching a height of six feet or more, the giant ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifloia) is one of 41 members of the sunflower family and labeled a noxious weed for our area. It also has a tremendous impact on many of our agronomic crops, especially corn and soybeans.

In our region giant ragweed blooms in late August with peak pollen production at the end of September. The plant exists until the first hard frost, but with less pollen at the end of its life cycle.

This weed is extremely prolific capable of producing over 10,000 seeds per plant with the ability to germinate over a two-week period in early summer.

However, the seed can remain viable in the soil for several years. Its biggest detriment is that a single ragweed weed plant has the ability to produce 1.25 million grains of pollen per day or about a billion grains of pollen during its lifetime, capable of traveling up to 125 miles on a windy day.

The weed does have some value as it provides food and shelter for various insects and fall migrating birds.

Go to https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/common-ragweed for more detailed information.

Darrell Blackwelder deblackw@ncsu.edu is the retired horticulture agent and director with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County.

Comments

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide

Local

City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras

Education

Educators reflect on Teacher Appreciation Week

Education

Livingstone College wins $30,000 Home Depot grant

Education

Shoutouts

News

Shield-A-Badge With Prayer program enters 26th year, accepting volunteers to pair with officers

Education

COVID-19 infection, quarantine numbers in Rowan-Salisbury Schools reach new highs

High School

High school football: Offensive line came together for Hornets, who play for state title tonight

Local

Pro baseball: White makes pro debut and says, ‘It felt amazing to be out there’

Education

West Rowan Middle eighth grader wins investment writing contest

Local

YSUP Rowan invites agencies to participate in youth-focused training

Nation/World

US backs waiving intellectual property rules on vaccines

News

As demand drops, Cooper visits vaccine clinic to urge usage

News

NC lawmakers advance bill barring mandatory COVID-19 shots

News

N.C. bill banning Down syndrome abortions nears floor vote

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees 301st death from COVID-19

Coronavirus

N.C. lawmakers advance bill barring mandatory COVID-19 shots

Local

Rowan Public Library joins initiative to help people with digital connectivity

Local

Mocksville to dissolve police department

Crime

Blotter: May 5

Local

Salisbury’s McElroy named top city, county communications professional in state

Local

Locals condemn use of force during 2019 traffic stop of Georgia woman

Kannapolis

Back and better than ever: Cannon Ballers kick off inaugural season in Atrium Health Ballpark