Weeds of Wednesday: Goldenrod?

Goldenrod (Solidago sp.) gets a bad rap. The pollen of goldenrod is too large to be a human allergen, but goldenrod often blooms at the same time as ragweed (Ambrosia sp.), the real culprit. Nonetheless, many people consider goldenrod to be a weed.

Pollinators flock to goldenrods, which are members of the daisy family, Asteraceae, with lots of tiny little flowers in the “disc” center of a pile of “petals” …

Florida is home to 21 species of goldenrod, according to Dr. Richard Wunderlin’s Florida Plant Atlas. Pictured above is wand goldenrod (Solidago stricta). Also known as narrow-leaved goldenrod, this plant grows in a variety of habitats at Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA), including in the pine flatwoods and along coastal wetland edges. It can flower throughout the year, though late summer and fall is its peak time for flowering.

Martha Willoughby (ORCA Charter Class) does not consider goldenrod to be a weed, and the bed of goldenrod in her front yard is flowering splendidly now …

It foliage ranges from 3 – 9″ tall (shown below along with sunshine mimosa) …

Its “wands” of flowers can reach up to 4 feet tall …

Plant goldenrod for its golden beauty and for pollinators like the gorgeous green orchid bee (Euglossa sp.) shown below …