The end of summer and the beginning of autumn often comes with astounding colors in the natural landscapes. While you will notice some plants toning down as they prepare “to take it easy into that good night”, others double their energy and glow with the fire of the early fall beauty. The golden rod is one of the golden glories of the field, woodlands, and even seaside.
Topped with cloud of fluffy flowers, goldenrod is sometimes considered a weed by many people. In fact, many gardeners have labeled it as a nuisance and have wondered if there is anything it’s good for. However, goldenrod has numerous uses and the simplicity of its care makes it a good for your garden landscape.
There are over 100 species of goldenrod, most of which are native to North America. Identification of this perennial herb can be difficult, but all goldenrods have one thing in common: their bright yellow color. Their main differences include different configuration of flower stems, different shaped leaves, hairy or smooth stems, and number of rays in their blossoms.
Depending on the location and weather conditions, goldenrod can be between 1 and 7 feet tall. However, Alpine goldenrods (in the alpine summits of New York and New England) can even reach 2 to 12 inches tall.
Some of the most common species of goldenrod (that can be found almost anywhere) are bog goldenrods that grow in bogs, swamps, and wet meadows and seaside goldenrod found in salt marshes, beaches and dunes. Other not every common species include the solidago rigida or the hard-leaved goldenrod which grows 5-6 feet tall and have flat-topped, showy flower clusters; zigzag or the broad-leaved goldenrod which has zigzag stem with flower clusters at the top of the stem; and the blue-stemmed goldenrod which grows 1-3 feet tall and loves shade—mostly found in thickets and woodland.
Goldenrod provides nectar for migrating insects such as bees and butterflies, encouraging them to remain in your garden and pollinate some of your crops. What’s more, planting goldenrod near a vegetable garden can help you a great deal by drawing bugs away from your vegetables.
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