Print This Page


GOLDENROD  Solidago virgaurea  (sal-eh-DAY-go vir-GAR-re-ah)


FAMILY:  Compositae
GROWTH HABITS/CULTURE:  Upright perennial with beautiful fall color. Very easy to grow in any soil. Treat as a wildflower. Striking yellow pyramids of flowers on tall stalks in the late summer and fall. Perennial. Sun to part shade. Spring transplants, seeds or root divisions in the fall. Height: 2 to 7 feet. Spread: Wide spreading. Final spacing: One or two is enough.

PROBLEMS:  Very aggressive and can sometimes gets out of control. Remove the faded flowers to prevent spreading.

HARVEST/STORAGE:  Harvest the flowers just after they form. Use the leaves when they are young and fresh in teas. Both can be dried and stored in glass.

MEDICINAL USES:  Leaves and flowers are expectorant, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and mildly sedative. Goldenrod is also used to treat kidney and bladder problems, coughs, fevers, sore throat, and asthma. It can be taken as a tea.
INSIGHT:  It has an inaccurate reputation that its pollen causes hay fever and allergies in the fall. Some people are allergic to the plant but the pollen is too heavy to cause common allergies. Goldenrod is in my perennial garden and should be in more gardens. It’s also great for farm settings. Ragweed pollen is the allergy problem that is so notorious. Dwarf goldenrod only grows 24 to 36 inches high. Fireworks is a dwarf that doesn’t spread badly by suckers as do the larger plants. All goldenrod species are useful but Solidago odora is the most fragrant.

  Search Library Topics      Search Newspaper Columns