Photo by author
Goldenrod Solidago canadensis
Native to most of North America, Canada goldenrod is a big, long-lived, hardy perennial with an upright, almost-woody stem that divides at the top into branchlets radiating upward and outward and covered in summer with hundreds of small flowers made of many short yellow petals. In full bloom, the plant looks like a bi-color forest, green below, yellow above.
Up to 6 feet tall, the plant is a star of late-summer in gardens and wild spaces. However, conspicuousness has a dark side. Many folks who suffer from hay fever blame goldenrod mistakenly for their teary eyes, stuffed nose and sneezing. The real culprit is ragweed which only slightly resembles goldenrod, having gray-green and small flowers in loose spikes. The confusion comes from timing. Ragweed blooms at the same time as goldenrod and releases clouds of pollen that float for miles. The pollen of goldenrod is too heavy to travel on the breeze.
Crowds of bees and the wide range of goldenrod are the reasons that The Great Sunflower Project has designated it as a plant to be observed. The volunteer members of the project count the bees that visit their plants to build a record of bee populations in urban areas and gain clues about keeping the bee populations healthy. This is a project that we at YourGardenShow support--enrich our gardens and help the pollinators.
Gardeners like goldenrod for its toughness and longevity, its size, and its show of color late in the garden season. However, at full size the stems tend to flop, a disappointment instead of a grand finale. The remedy: snip the stems once or twice before mid-summer to keep them shorter, stouter and less likely to flop. The bonus is that snipping also encourages more flower stems.
An alternative to snipping is to grow one of the smaller cultivars such as ‘Leraft’ that have been selected by nurseries. It is not only shorter but also grows in a clump rather than spreading like its parent by tunneling roots that send up new stems. No surprise for a plant with so many flowers, goldenrod also spreads by seeds -- however, mulch will thwart most of the seeds.
Goldenrod flower stems are good for cutting or for drying. In the garden, goldenrod pairs nicely with other late blooming perennials such as purple coneflower and New England aster.
Copyright © 2012 YourGardenShow.com
Plant Photo Tagging allows you to turn any garden photo into a rich tapestry of what you have planted. It’s fun, informative, and helpful to others visiting your garden. As you photo tag, you can easily add plant names from our database and/or make notes about anything you’d like. To get started, sign-in and go to your Garden.
Click on any image in your garden's slideshow Carousel to get to full-view mode. Click on the “Tag” icon just below your photo and you are ready to tag! Simply click and drag your mouse over a plant or area you’d like to highlight or tag. A pop-up box will appear and ask for either a plant name or a note - add one or both, then click “tag” and you’ve just tagged your garden!
Write and tell us your suggestion for a "How it Works" video:
For more info contact: email@example.com
Great Sunflower Project