NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The sneezin’ season has returned, and the main culprit is ragweed pollen. Many people are allergic to ragweed, but what is it?

Ragweed is a flowering weed that has about 17 distinct species in North America. This plant has lacy and palmate leaves that end up looking like a hand with fingers. These plants vary in height from only a few inches to over 12 feet. Giant ragweed grows from 12 to 18 feet tall.

Ragweed can be found in urban landscaping, on the side of roadways, near farmland, and running along riverbanks… so almost everywhere!

A single plant can release over a billion grains of pollen, which explains why some people categorize this plant as the largest single seasonal allergen in North America.

Ragweed and grass pollen are going to be at the medium-high level until Friday at least. What this means is that it’s time to go out and buy more over the counter allergy medicine if you start sneezing, have an itchy throat, or runny nose.

This is a good first step to make sure that your allergy symptoms are really being caused by ragweed and grass pollen and aren’t something more serious since flu season upon us.

Don’t forget to take the power and reliability of the WKRN Weather Authority with you at all times by downloading the News 2 Storm Tracker app.