Ragweed, aka Ambrosia artemisiifolia is anything but “Ambrosia”. They are part of the aster family and can be found throughout California. The name Ambrosia comes from the Greek word Ambrosia, which means food or drink of immortality. However, this plant is known for causing allergic rhinitis in humans.  If you study the plant up close, it is very interesting. They have both male and female flowers. The male flowers grow like spikes on the top portion of the plant. Each little upside down cup shaped flower is filled with yellow pollen. The female flowers, below, are spikey and can be white or purple.  They grow in disturbed areas in deserts and semi-deserts.

Male/Female Flower photo by:

By Stan Shebs, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7082229