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Darrell Blackwelder: Goldenrod is now at its peak and in full bloom

Early fall is the period when many flowers with color seem to fade. Fortunately, there is a native flower that is ablaze along our roadways and fields. Goldenrod (Solidago), is now at its peak and in full bloom around the county. Good weather with ample summer rainfall has evidently provided the perfect growing environment for this fall blooming perennial. The herbaceous perennial is in the aster family which includes many cultivated flowers including chrysanthemums, dahlias and daisies. These native bloomers are tall, thin stemmed, with spiky yellow flowers growing in a thick mass of colorful floral clusters.

The perennial has various methods of reproduction including roots, bulbs and seed and are found almost every part of the country. With more than 140 different varieties, many consider this vivacious fall blooming plant a major culprit of pollen and allergies, however, this is not the case. Most are confusing goldenrod with the fall blooming giant ragweed which is a major pollen producer. Goldenrod actually produces very little pollen and must utilize insects as a method of pollination. It’s a favorite pollinator plant for honeybees. The plant is also considered a nutritional plant with health benefits for herbal teas and is often sold as supplements in nutrition capsules.

Darrell Blackwelder is the retired horticulture agent and director with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Contact him at deblackw@ncsu.edu .

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