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Goldenrod (Solidago)

Here we go again. Another "weed" that has been ostracized and wrongly blamed for hay fever by the settlers of the United States. However, the goldenrod plant has been highly coveted by gardeners around the world and is finally making its way back into the gardens of its origin, right here in North America.

Goldenrods are actually a part of the Asteraceae family, and like many of its cousins, it's a showstopper. Flowering in late summer, it's perfect for four season gardens. As many other plants are finished blooming by late August, the solidago plant is just ramping up.

When you gaze upon the blossoming North American native, it's no wonder why it earned its common name. It's quite a breathtaking yellow in the dog day evenings of late summer. Planted with other late blooming plants is sure to make your flower garden stand out to pollinators and passersby alike.

This plant is a perennial, that spreads either by windblown seeds or by spreading roots. Once established, goldenrod will grow for years to come. As I mentioned earlier, they have been falsely accused of inciting bouts of hay fever, however their pollen is too heavy to blow much farther than the flower itself. Repeated handling has been shown to be an irritant, so try keeping the touching to a minimum.

Being that the pollen is rather abundant, it makes a great plant for apiaries and pollinator gardens. The honey produced by goldenrod nectar is a rich dark color with a strong flavor. Goldenrod tea made from the dried leaves is proven to be anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and it will help to fight certain infections. Native Americans long used this plant as an herbal remedy.

Though you must have a variety inclined towards high elevations if you live in the mountains, many different kinds will grow happily in subalpine environments. It is well worth the time and effort of procuring such a plant. If you have the chance to grow your very own solidago, do not miss that golden opportunity.


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