It’s fall and you see everyone writing or talking about fall bloomers and what seems to come to mind are the flowers people buy in the store right (now like asters and mums). Those are beautiful fall flowers but I am here to introduce you to the flower, formerly known as a weed, that can easily be sown in your yard for free, has beautiful yellow flowers, and it is a native pollinator. Goldenrod (Solidago sp) is a pollinator to a host of many insects and it is not a ‘allergen-ator’ as many believe.
Pollinator you ask?Pollinators attract insects (such as bees) to carry the pollen from plant to plant for reasons of fertilizing for reproduction. Basic info, however, Goldenrod also attracts hummingbirds and even butterflies to enjoy the nectar of its beautiful yellow flowers and unfortunately some ‘bad’ bugs too. This is nature and good does balance out bad if given the chance.
This beautiful yellow flower gets the wrap for its foe the Ragweed (Ambrosia sp.) which has a different flower and a totally different leaf! It is not likely that Goldenrod will flair up any allergies unless you went up and stuck your nose in the flower. In which case, you will smell a wonderfully faint sweet odor and then probably get pollen on your nose. True pollinators in the plant world have pollen that is wet and clingy. The purpose of this ‘cling’ is to stick to an insects legs or body and be transported from flower to flower. Ragweed, on the other hand, is usually pollinated by the wind and therefore in the air you are breathing thus I call it an ‘allergen-ator’.
Goldenrod is a sun loving tall plant that can easily reach heights of 5-7′. Mine is about 5 1/2′ tall and I only have a small clump of 3 this year in a random but acceptable spot. My other patch of Goldenrod had to be pulled up because it just got to rambunctious for the spot with my other perennials. My advice is to put it in the back of the bed in an area where you can appreciate it because others may not. Make sure to clip the flower heads when they start drying so that the wind does not carry them into the neighbor’s yard-this does not make good for relations. LOL
This is a native plant growing across our beautiful countrysides in many ditches, parks, and abandoned areas. I have to add that it is acceptable to clip a few flowers and take home. for a bouquet and for some seed sowing. Goldenrod is a prolific re-seeder and is easily sown by just throwing down the flowers in the spot you want (right now in the fall) and waiting until next spring for the plants to emerge. This also has long runner type roots and is drought tolerant. There is no care and in the back of the garden the bright yellow flowers are stunning!
Another use for Goldenrod is as a filler in floral arrangements. This time of the year you can find it in bouquets in the floral department of some grocery stores and at your local floral shops. If you do buy a bouquet, you can throw the spent flowers in the back of the garden or woodland area so you can grow your own bouquet next year.
Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!
Note: there are many cultivars of Goldenrod so there is no excuse not to add this fall beauty to your garden
2014/2015 copyrighted material C Renee Fuller
check out more info http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=soca6