Ambrosia: quarantine weed


In ancient Greece, ambrosia was called the food of the gods. The same name is the malicious quarantine weed - a plant described by the botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The great Swede, of course, could not guess how much trouble this plant would bring to humanity. So what is weed ambrosia?

Biological features

The genus Ambrosia has about 50 species and belongs to the Aster family. The most dangerous are several species that are found in our country. Among them are ambrosia, holomellate, ambrosia, tripartite, and ambrosia, marine. But the palm, of course, belongs to the ragweed.

  • Plant height from 20 to 30 cm, but in favorable conditions it can grow up to 2 m.
  • The root system of the plant is a powerful rod, easily penetrates even to four meters depth.
  • Stem pubescent plants, branches at the top.
  • The leaves are pubescent pinnately dissected. At a young age, the plant looks like a marigold, which often leads people astray, having matured, more like a Chernobyl herb - one of the types of wormwood, for which it received its name.
  • The flowers of the plant are same-sex: male are yellow-green, collected in branchy inflorescences and female, located at the base of male flowers. It blooms from July and ending in October. The plant produces a lot of pollen, which can be carried by the wind over long distances. Even one weed can give rise to numerous offspring.
  • In August, seeds begin to ripen, their number is very large, champions give up to 40,000 seeds. Immediately the seeds do not germinate. They need a rest period of 4 months to six months. Not only fully mature seeds are grown, but also those that are in wax and even in milky ripeness. Seed germination is very high, in their hour for germination they can wait 40 years or more.
  • Favorite habitats of this weed are vacant lots, roadsides of highways and railways, landfills.

Photo of ragweed ragweed.

And this is a photo of her cousin, a three-part ambrosia.

Ambrosia is tripartite and polynolifoliferous - annuals, and holometelchataya is a perennial and winters beautifully. Here it is in the photo.

Attention! When plowing areas infected with this weed, its roots are cut into pieces. Each of them germinates, so it is very difficult to fight this type of ambrosia.

Appearance history

The natural habitat of wormwood ambrosia is southwest North America. 200 years ago, even there she was relatively rare. But the migration of the population made it possible for ambrosia seeds to spread throughout the entire American continent. Nalivaya shoes, they penetrated into new areas. In 1873, this malicious weed appeared in Europe. Its seeds were in a batch of clover seeds from America. Since then, this quarantine plant continues its victorious march not only in Europe, but also in the Asian continent.

In Russia, the first ambrosia plants were observed in 1918 in the Stavropol Territory. The climate of the south of Russia is quite suitable for her, on the wheels of cars, it spread farther and farther. Now ambrosia can be found even in the south of the middle band. Gradually adapting to new growing conditions, it is confidently moving north. Map of the spread of this malicious weed.

Ambrosia damage

All types of ambrosia are quarantine, i.e., particularly dangerous, since they have a large potential area of ​​possible naturalization. What is so bad this weed?

Harm to man

Pollen of all types of ambrosia is a powerful allergen. The degree of allergenicity of pollen of any plant is determined by two indicators: the size and number of allergens that are included in its composition. Ambrosia pollen has small sizes. Such particles freely enter human lungs. The amount of pollen particles that a single plant can release reaches several billions.

There is an index of allergenicity, which determines the strength of the allergen. In ambrosia, it has a maximum value of 5. Allergy is caused by the content of 5 units of pollen per 1 cubic meter of air. For other types of plant pollen to cause allergies, their concentration must be much higher. When tested on volunteers revealed sensitivity to pollen in half of the subjects. This is a very high figure. This is what the pollen of this plant looks like if we consider it at high magnification.

Attention! Since 2000, even in Moscow during the flowering of this quarantine weed, the pollen content is 8-15 grains per 1 cubic meter of air.

How is ragweed pollen allergy manifested?

  • Very severe allergic bronchitis, which can be complicated by pulmonary edema.
  • Asthma attacks.
  • Conjunctivitis.
  • Rhinitis.
  • Headache.
  • Temperature rise.
  • Pruritus
  • Tickling and sore throat.
  • Cross-allergic reaction to a range of foods, such as mustard.

Some people may experience common symptoms of allergy.

  • Depression until depression develops.
  • Bad sleep and appetite.
  • Deterioration of attention and concentration.
  • Increased irritability.

A warning! If there is an allergy to ambrosia pollen, it is very difficult to cure it.

To prevent allergies from becoming a huge problem, it is better to take preventive measures during the flowering of this weed.

  • Do not go out for fresh air in the morning. And it is better to time the walk to the time when the humidity is high, which happens after the rain. Ambrosia throws the most pollen into the air from 5 am to 12 noon.
  • It is better to dry the washed things at home, on the street pollen can easily settle on wet things.
  • At night and in the morning, do not ventilate the apartment; windows in the car should be kept closed.
  • After being in the open air, you need to wash, wash your hair, rinse your mouth. Rinse the nose better by preparing saline.
  • Bathe your pet more often, ambrosia pollen can settle on their wool.
  • Glasses from the sun will not allow the pollen to get into your eyes.
  • Daily wet cleaning is required.
Tip! For the time of flowering of this plant, it is better for allergy sufferers to leave the dangerous region and spend holidays where ambrosia is not yet.

There are sites that monitor the status of ambrosia flowering. There is data on the concentration of pollen from this plant in each region.

Tip! Going on vacation, check the pollen forecast in the area where you will rest.

The seeds and the leaves of this quarantine weed are allergens and can cause dermatitis. Essential oils, which emits ambrosia, provoke a severe headache, pressure jumps up to hypertensive crises.

Ambrosia harm to plants and animals

Having a strong root system, this plant absorbs a large amount of water and food from the soil, taking it away from growing near-growing cultivated and wild species. In just a couple of years, it depletes the soil on which it grows to such an extent that it becomes unsuitable for further agricultural use. Getting into crops of cultivated plants, ambrosia not only takes away their water and mineral nutrition, but also light, as it grows above them. In cultivated plants, the process of photosynthesis slows down, their depression and even death occur.

Getting into the livestock feed, this weed degrades the quality of milk. It becomes unpleasant to taste and acquires the same smell due to the content of bitter substances in this plant. If you make a silo from grass containing ambrosia, the animals do not want to eat it.

How to deal with ambrosia

Why did weed an ambrosia polynolifolia so quickly capture significant areas? This strong and strong plant easily crowds out any competitors. The huge number of seeds and their ability to germinate for many years contributes to the rapid reproduction of this quarantine weed. At home, ambrosia has pests and plants that can significantly limit the habitat. But neither in Europe nor in Asia they are not. Only some weed plants that live near it can make a small competition for ambrosia. Among them, wheat grass creeping and pink thistle. These plants are able to significantly reduce the height of ambrosia plants, as well as the number of seeds that it can form.

In order to defeat this dangerous weed for humanity, it will take joint efforts not only specialists, but also ordinary people.

Ambrosia foci in Europe.

In Europe, there is already a large-scale project that provides for the environmentally safe protection of agricultural plants. 200 researchers are looking for insects and plants that could cope with the biological expansion of ambrosia. 33 states have already joined the project. It is abbreviated SMARTER. The project was initiated by Swiss ecologist Heinz Muller-Scherer. In Russia, there are regional programs that are aimed at combating this malicious weed.

Control measures

  • The most productive method of dealing with ambrosia in private domains is manual. Moreover, mowing is effective only in the period when the plant starts flowering. If you do this earlier, the effect will be the opposite, since the number of shoots of a plant will multiply many times. It will be necessary to repeat the mowing of ambrosia until the end of the growing season of the plant in late autumn. For ambrosia of holometal, this method of struggle is ineffective, since it is a perennial plant.
  • Manual weed weeding before seed formation gives a very good effect. The plant can completely disappear from the site.
  • Chemical methods for the destruction of harmful weed. For the treatment of fields with soybean crops, the bazagran herbicide is used, it is used in a mixture of other herbicide titus on corn crops. The rates of herbicide consumption for the effective destruction of weeds are large enough that it does not contribute to improving the environment. Herbicides are also used as Secateurs and Hurricane. The best results are obtained by a mixture of these herbicides, the time of its application is the beginning of the flowering of ambrosia. This mixture allows to reduce the concentration of both substances without reducing the effectiveness of the treatment. Ambrosia is difficult to treat with herbicides. When processing it is necessary to use a protective suit and respirator.
  • Using the method of displacement ambrosia mixtures of cereals and legumes. A good result on farmland gives the right crop rotation, meticulous care for crops. There is information about the use of his natural enemies brought from America to fight this quarantine weed, namely, the ambrosia leaf beetle Zygogramma suturalis and the moth tarachidia candefacta. Experiments with the use of these insects are encouraging. This method of dealing with ambrosia is successfully used in China.

Ambrosia leaf beetle is the brother of the Colorado potato beetle, but unlike it does not recognize any other food, therefore it does not pose a danger to other plants. Since the 80s of the last century, the time when the zigogram bug was first released onto the field to combat ambrosia, amazing metamorphoses have occurred with it. He not only changed color, but also learned to fly, which he could not do in his homeland. It took only 5 generations of the zyogram for growing wings. The beetle's breeding is hampered by crop rotation, due to which it does not have a permanent habitat.

It must be said that on the basis of ambrosia, quite effective medicines have been created for some diseases, which, oddly enough, include allergies.

The uncontrolled spread of such a dangerous weed is a side effect of the human development process. It was thanks to the improvement of communication links that it was possible not only the relocation of this plant to other continents, but also the rapid settlement within them.