Ambrosia pollen warning

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The district of Herford is currently warning of the pollen active plant Ambrosia.

(2010-08-03) The landscape authority Herford is currently warning of the pollen allergen Ambrosia. Ambrosia is the world's strongest pollen allergen and causes severe health problems for allergy sufferers. Now it is time again to fight the plants intensively in the gardens.

The "Ambrosia artemisifolia" (also called dove herb) is an annual pollen allergen that has spread rapidly in Germany since the 90s. It is believed that the plant has spread through the trade of agricultural products, i.e. potted plants and bird feed. The ragweed grows up to 200 centimeters in height and prefers to settle on streets, transshipment points and rubble areas. In the district of Herford, the "dove herb" is currently also growing in private gardens.

Ambrosia grows in spring and is often confused with the so-called "student flower", "common mugwort", "perennial ambushia", "annual mugwort" or even carrots. While the plants mentioned grow evenly, the ragweed remains in the status and begins to flower only at the beginning / middle of August. During this time, ragweed is the most dangerous for allergy sufferers.

The mugwort ambrosia is a shrubby and compact plant, the leaves are double to triple pinnate and the stems are protruding hairy. The hairy stems are mostly somewhat reddish, the male inflorescences are arranged in upright, finger-shaped clusters. From the end of July until the first frost, the flowers release over a billion pollen that are distributed in the air.

Ambrosia is considered to be the strongest allergen and solves massive symptoms in allergy sufferers such as a constantly runny nose, shortness of breath, cough, asthma, eye swelling, headache and other hay fever symptoms. For this reason, the ambrosia is also called "asthma plant" in Australia. Ambrosia is also so dangerous because it can trigger allergies in people who have previously had little or no allergy symptoms. The pollen is very small and can penetrate deep into the bronchi, causing severe discomfort.

Ambrosia is expected to expand rapidly in the next few years. In the health sector alone, costs have risen by a whopping 20 million euros. It is therefore extremely important that ambrosia is also controlled in private gardens and that further spread is stopped.

But how can you remove the plant properly. First of all, you should definitely wear gloves and a face mask. Direct contact with the body should be avoided as contact with the plants can cause skin irritation. The plant must be pulled with the entire root and also not disposed of in normal organic waste. The ambrosia should be placed in a closed sack in the household waste and then burned. Furthermore, bird feeding places and places where the soil has been replenished should be checked. Side edges of paths must be mowed regularly. If you discover Ambrosia plants in your garden or outside in public places, you should definitely inform the local landscape authority so that the plants can be professionally removed. (sb)

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Image: Oliver Haja /

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