Goldenrod

 

Blooming time: July -September

Height: Can range up to 8 feet tall.

Stem and Leaves: Most species of goldenrod have unbranched stems. Leaves are most often lance-shaped and alternate along the stem. Leaves are sometimes more than 6 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. The shape of the leaves of various species can vary from oval to narrow to almost grasslike. Goldenrod is a perennial which grows from a root system of rhizomes, runners or crowns. For this reason goldenrod plants are often found in large groups.

Flowers and Fruit: Tiny yellow flowers grow in clusters at the top of the stem. The individual flowers are quite small. Arrangement of the flowers along the stem or at the top of the stem vary from species to species. Although goldenrod is often blamed for hayfever symptoms, the plants' pollination generally occurs by insects rather than being wind borne.

Interesting Facts: The pioneers and Native Americans both had several uses for goldenrod. They used it for burns, intestinal disorders, and lung problems. Leaves of some species were used as a tea substitue. Native Americans also used the plant for the treatment of fevers, bee stings and diseases of women. The Meskwaki burned the plant to produce a smoke inhalant for a person who had fainted. An early tribal medicine tradition was to cook goldenrod with bone from an animal that had died about the same time that a baby was born, and then to wash the baby with the liquid to insure its ability to talk and laugh.


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Page last updated March 24, 2015
Text resources: Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie- The Upper Midwest, Sylvan T. Runkel and Dean M. Roosa;
A Field Guide to Wildflowers of the Northeastern and North-central North America, Roger Tory Peterson and Margaret McKenny
Photo by Barb McGee - bjmcreations.com