ambrosia_trifida.jpgThis week, I decided to post about a plant I saw in Sonderman Park instead of doing another update on Monument Valley Park. It’s giant ragweed, and living up to its name, it is nearly 9 feet tall! (When I first encountered the plant in a Native Plant Masters course, our specimen was only 2 feet tall. It’s amazing what some rain can do.) It was so big, that at first I had a hard time identifying it. And then I realized, “Oh my gosh….this is giant ragweed!” The park does have the western ragweed, a smaller plant with more deeply lobed leaves, as well. If you’ve pulled ragweed from your garden, the western variety is probably the one you’ve dealt with (I’ve pulled hundreds of these over the years at the utility company’s xeriscape demonstration garden).

To find this plant, park in the Beidleman Center parking lot, and proceed into the park. After you cross the small footbridge over the creek, the giant ragweed patch is about 30 yards ahead and on your right (the first side trail to the right starts there). (more…)