If there’s one quintessential perennial for fall color, it’s goldenrod. What other plant can create such exuberant masses of golden yellow blooms to echo the changing fall foliage? When you take a relaxing drive through the country to enjoy the autumn show, keep an eye out for goldenrod. Every state has at least one native species, so you’re bound to spot it growing in fields or along the roadside.
Though each species is unique, a few characteristics are common to all goldenrods. You’ll surely recognize their distinctive yellow flowers in late summer and fall. They are a valuable late-season food source for an abundance of pollinators and insects. (Want to bring in more butterflies? Check out our garden plan that includes goldenrod!) In turn, hungry birds and praying mantises enjoy the insects that host or feed on the plant.
Goldenrod has gotten a bad rap by some who blame it for making them sneeze. But its pollen is heavy and sticky and is transferred by insects rather than on the wind. The more likely culprit is ragweed, which blooms at the same time and often grows near goldenrod. Allergy sufferers can freely plant this flowery perennial without a worry.
Only the best…
Of the 77 species that are native to the United States and Canada, some are aggressive spreaders. Meet some of the best goldenrods for gardens — they won’t attempt a coup in your landscape.