Ambrosia trifida /Aster Family
This is the plant that gives the beautiful insect-pollinated Goldenrod a "bad" name because they bloom at the same time. Ragweed probably got its name because people once had to use a "rag" to take care of the allergy symptoms this plant causes! The male flowers produce millions of microscopic, spiky, spherical spores which are spread by the wind. The small, light green female flowers are barely visible in this picture. Great Ragweed can grow over 6 feet in height. I call it "Mother Nature's Revenge," it likes to grow in places disturbed by man!
Where seen: Oak Ridge Greenways, Great Smoky Mountains NP, widespread