Natives For Your Neighborhood is a labor of love and commitment. If you use this website, help us maintain and grow it with your tax-deductible donation.


Please scroll to the bottom for more images.
Beach ragweed, Coastal ragweed
Ambrosia hispida

Copyright by: Michelle Hayden
In habitat, Eleuthera, Bahamas, 2013

General Landscape Uses: An accent groundcover in open coastal locations.

Ecological Restoration Notes: Rather sporadic along the South Florida coast. Perhaps never common, but its numbers may have been reduced by coastal development and erosion.

Availability: Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida. Available in Sanibel at the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (239-472-2329).

Description: Small spreading herb.

Dimensions: Typically 1-3 feet in height but sometimes climbing into other vegetation. Spreading and forming large mats.

Growth Rate: Moderate to fast.

Range: Monroe County Keys and Miami-Dade County north along the coasts to Brevard and Lee counties; West Indies, southern Mexico and Central America. Rather rare and sporadic throughout its range in South Florida.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Beach dunes and coastal strand.

Soils: Moist, well-drained sandy soils, without humus.

Nutritional Requirements: Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Secondary line; tolerates significant salt wind without injury, but usually is somewhat protected.

Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: White.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy.

Flowering Season: All year; peak in summer.

Fruit: Inconspicuous achene with 1-5 conic spines. All year.

Wildlife and Ecology: The flowers are pollinated by wind.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from cuttings. Newly planted patches may spread rapidly, then die back after 2-3 years.

References: Hammer 2004, Miami-Dade County Landscape Manual (2005).

Comments: An excellent groundcover in coastal areas with high light.

Copyright by: Michelle Hayden
In habitat, Eleuthera, Bahamas, 2013

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Cara Abbott, 2023.

Other data on Ambrosia hispida available from:

Resources Links:
Find Native Plants!

Acknowledgements and past sponsors

Become a sponsor!

Major Sponsor:

Emergent Sponsors:

Canopy Sponsors:
Herbaceous Sponsors:

Jay Bird - @BotanizingBirdingButterflies

Florida Native Plant Nursery