Ambrosia, what will happen to me?
I have to say that I always, and still have, mixed feelings about both fighting and protecting plants. If we want to fight plants, if they grow too strongly, hinder and protect humans if they threaten to disappear, if they no longer threaten us, we can pamper them again.
Description AmbrosiaMy first introduction to the sagebrush ambrosia was in France. In every mairie, posters are warned and asked to eradicate 'l'ambroisie'. Personal plant description: L'ambroisie à feuille d'armoise (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) fait partie de ce que l'on appelle couramment «les mauvaises herbes». Plant once a year. Sheets single or usually double spring, clearly stalked. Wrap around the nut with 5-7 short prick-shaped spines, ending in a 1.5-2 mm long beak. Wrap of the male heads bare or little hairy.
His name and ... the problem
- English: Common ragweed, annual ragweed, Roman wormwood, low ragweed, short ragweed, small ragweed, bitterweed, blackweed, American wormwood.
- French: Ambroisie annuelle
- German: Hohe Ambrosion
- Ambrosia artemisiifolia var. artemisiifolia L. -
- Ambrosia artemisiifolia var. elatior (L.) Descourtils
- Ambrosia artemisiifolia var. paniculata (Michx.) Blank.
The first part of its scientific name, ambrosia, recalls the Greek food nectar. The Greek word ambrosios is composed of a, "not" and mbrotos, "mortal." The latter may come from 'mortos' that is still recognizable in Dutch in the word 'murder'. He seems to be immortal now, although it is an annual plant, he apparently can spread quickly through seed. Seed that is mainly present in chicken and bird feed. Hidden, therefore, it is further spread by humans and animals, making it even forbidden in some countries to offer bird feed with ambrosia seeds. In Austria and Switzerland it is even forbidden to have the plant in the garden.
Ambrosia has been in the United States for much longer. One in ten people there is hypersensitive to ambrosia pollen. Of the allergy patients, approximately 1 in 4 ends up in the hospital with serious asthmatic complaints.
That Alsemambrosia is a problem can now also be seen from the fact that just half a million euros of European money has been earmarked for research into combating this plant.
Ambrosia good too?And to say something good about Ambrosia, apparently it contains an essential oil with a versatile antibacterial and anti-fungal effect. The researchers concluded that the oil of A. artemisiifolia expressed considerable antibacterial and antimycotic activity, as all tested microorganisms were found sensitive or intermediate sensitivity. Antimycotic activity of the oil was also compared to the activity of nystatin and amphotericin B and it was observed that activities were proportional.
Some Native Americans have also used the plant medicinally against insect bites and other skin disorders, which is strange because now it is even warned to only remove the plant with gloves on. Are we more sensitive to it or is there some evidence of mass hysteria. The same peoples also drank tea from the leaf to remedy menstrual problems. For now, I would not dare to advise that now and I am rightly on my guard because of negative information. Some specimens of Ambrosia have also appeared in my own French garden, which I still try to control with bare hands, without allergic reactions. Wait and see how it will continue with this new pest and which other plants will protect or threaten humans in the future.
Report AmbrosiaA folder with identification characteristics also mentions telephone numbers from different European countries, where you can report locations of Ambrosia. Fortunately there is not yet a duty to report, but with these numbers Belgium 031 9105153 / France 026 3055865 / The Netherlands 032 8540582
In the photo, hiding under the sunflowers grow en masse Ambrosia artemisifolia, photographed between the French town of Die and Luc and Diois.