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September Wildflower Spotlight: 
Goldenrod

Fields of goldenrod in full bloom are prominent features of the landscape in September and signal the end of summer. Goldenrod is an erect perennial with simple, alternate toothed or smooth-margined leaves. Some species have feathery rich sprays of florets atop sturdy stems. Goldenrod is known to hybridize freely and botanists are not in agreement as to the number of species.

Native Americans have used its dried leaves for a tea-like beverage. The generic name, from the Latin means, “to make whole” and refers to the healing properties that have been attributed to it.

Goldenrod does not cause hay fever. It has been wrongly accused of producing the irritating pollen that bothers so many this time of year. Goldenrod’s brightly colored flowers attract color sensitive insects. Its pollen grains are relatively large, heavier than air because they are designed to be carried off by bees, butterflies and birds. Not by wind. It’s ragweed, goldenrod’s inconspicuous summer field companion that’s the real culprit, producing huge amounts of pollen designed to be wind pollinated.

Previous Spotlights:
     - AugustJoe Pye Weed
     - July:   Cardinal Flower
     - JuneRosebay Rhododendron