Weeds of Wednesday: Un-deserved Bad Rap

It’s not the goldenrod that’s irritating your respiratory tract.  The pollen of goldenrod is too big & too sticky to become a human allergen.

Pollinators — like this bumblebee — love goldenrod.  We should, too, for its beautiful bright yellow flowers.

Florida is home to 20 or 21 species of goldenrod, Solidago sp.  The most common species at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) is seaside goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens).  Its species name, sempervirens, means always evergreen.

While the tall flowerstalks die back to the ground in the wintertime, the distinctive cluster of basal leaves of this species of goldenrod remains green throughout the year.

Its flowerstalks can be more than 4′ tall, and seaside goldenrod is the tallest species found in Florida.  Despite its common name, you will find this plant growing in inland counties that are not “seaside”.

Its leaves are wider than the leaves of most species of goldenrod.  They are toothless and hairless, too.

Seaside goldenrod flowers in the fall, and its wind-borne achenes (single seeded dry fruits) germinate readily.  This and other species of goldenrod can be an attractive addition to your landscape.