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Goldenrods Are Our Friends

September 10, 2018

By: Barb Holtz

How often have I heard, "Goldenrod! Ew! That's what causes my allergies." Sure, Goldenrod produces pollen like every other flowering plant, but it is not the main culprit of hay fever and other summer/early fall sneezing. Ragweed. Now that deserves the "Ew!"

Our native Goldenrods are garden-worthy and I invite you to consider them for your landscape. They are as varied as our garden likes. They can fill a niche by color, light requirements or morphology. Follow along through the month of September as I highlight some of my favorites.

I leave you with a story of how Goldenrod came to be.

One day, a young man was walking through the woods. He was startled by an old hag in need of assistance. She asked, "Can you help me, child? I am old and cannot walk." Frightened by her strangeness, the passer by fled leaving the woman to her own devices.

Downhearted, the hag hung her head. Just as all hope seemed lost, she heard a small voice, "I can help you." The woman looked about and spied a gnarly branch offering its sturdiness as a cane to lean on. The woman was heartened and accepted the stick's offer. They traveled across the forest and leaving the woods on the other side, the old hag transformed into a beautiful young girl.

The staff was shocked, not realizing the old woman was truly a beautiful sprite. She said to her walking stick, "You have shown kindness, so I will transform you into goldenrod, to be loved by children everywhere for evermore." And at that moment, the gnarly, tossed aside branch became a golden plant and is loved by all.

Stiff Goldenrod

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