I found this plant between my vegetables when it was small and thought it looked interesting, so it placed it somewhere else. I couldn't imagine then that it would grow to be a sphere of almost a meter across within a couple of months.

Anyway, I'm curious what it is. Like I said, it's about 1 meter, roughly spherical. It is an blueish/grayish green, and has a lot of fine leaves of about 8 to 10 cm. I'm not sure what the right English word is to describe the shape of the leaves, but they look like a drawing of a Christmas tree.

Recently it developed small stalks or "tails" each with many flower buds, which look like they may become yellow flowers. Any fragments of red on the picture are from a different flower.

This picture was taken in my garden in The Netherlands, North-Western Europe.

The whole plant Leaf and flower buds

  • 1
    Nice pictures, especially the close-ups. Having become a bit paranoid in the recent past, I'd rather avoid publishing fingerprints this way ;-).
    – Patrick B.
    Sep 14, 2015 at 7:32
  • Thanks. :) Just phone pictures, but I had good daylight, and I think clear pictures do help when identifying a plant. Didn't think of fingerprints, though. Now you got me worrying. ;-)
    – GolezTrol
    Sep 14, 2015 at 8:27
  • and what part of the world was this picture taken?
    – kevinskio
    Sep 14, 2015 at 10:57
  • @kevinsky Sorry I forgot. It's in The Netherlands, North-Western Europe. I've added it to the question.
    – GolezTrol
    Sep 14, 2015 at 11:14

2 Answers 2


Ambrosia artemisiifolia Common Ragweed. Enemy of many people who have ever suffered from seasonal allergies/hay fever. The compound leaves, hairy stem and especially the 'flower' stalks all match up. The flowers never really look much different from what you have, but they are quite likely producing yellow pollen, which is the cause of so many problems for so many people. At minimum, I would cut off the flowers before they go to seed as it is an invasive species in many parts of Europe (native to North America, although terribly prolific). Or, just cut it off at the root if it's bothering you, it is an annual so that will be the end of this plant for sure at this stage.

  • Thank you very much. Turns out it is not a native species here, but very invasive. It breaks the germination of other plants. Apparently the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority even launched a campaign a couple of years ago to eradicate this "Alsemambrosia". I'm glad I asked before it fully flowered, and I'll report it and remove it in time to prevent further spreading in the neighborhood.
    – GolezTrol
    Sep 14, 2015 at 12:43

It looks like common ragweed to me.

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