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Carrot Weed - Ambrosia artemisiifolia
Native to many parts of North and South America, Carrot Weed grows to about 2 ft. in height and has soft leaves from 1-4 inches in length. Quick growing, and hardy in all zones and soils, it spreads rapidly making this a great ground cover for remediating soil pollution—Carrot Weed removes and reduces heavy metals, such as lead, from contaminated soil. This bird attractant produces fruit and seeds well in to the winter. Carrot Weed was once common in traditional medicine among Native American tribes. Other names for this plant are common ragweed, low ragweed, and annual ragweed.
Carrot Weed is called this because the flower resembles lace; the red flower in the center represents a blood droplet where Queen Anne pricked herself with a needle when she was making the lace. The tiny red flower has one primary function, colored by anthocyanin, it serves to attract insects. Carrot weed, native to Europe and naturalized to North America, is best known for its tripinnate leaves which have a lacy, feathery appearance. Perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing feature of this plant is the umbel, where the flowers grow. These flowers are bunched together and most are white in color, but what will stand out is there is sometimes a differently colored flower in the middle of the pack, which can be either red or purple. Because of the bowl like shape of the umbel, one of the many nicknames for this plant is "Bird's Nest." Blooming occurs in the summer and fall, and those blooms are usually pink in color.As a biennial plant, carrot weed will start to produce seeds in its second year of life. This usually happens between April and October. These seeds fall into the surrounding soil and sprout. This plant is easy to grow in your garden, as it needs plenty of sun and is adaptable to most kinds of soil. The white flowers will certainly stand out and add a brightness to any garden.