Goldenrod (botanical name : Solidago) is a classic case of a flower being judged by its color! But, this plant does not cause the harm that you think it does. A sneaky similar weed called Ragweed is the culprit. But, because Ragweed does not have showy flowers, Solidago gets the blame!
This kind of discrimination is common, because Solidago is seen along all our highways and byways (and for good reason). Goldenrod is a tough plant and there are a variety of species within the genus of
olidago offering a wide range of adaptability, blooming as early as August and as late as October. And what does it have to offer? According to Doug Tallamy it supplies cover, seed, pollen, nectar and food for 115 species of caterpillar.
Now, that may not ignite the fire for you to let it go wild on your property, but a plant with such strength got the attention of Thomas Edison. Goldenrod naturally contains rubber. Edison's experiments identified the species that yields as much as 12% rubber. In fact, the tires of his Model T, given to him by Henry Ford, were made from Goldenrod.
Is Goldenrod in harmony with the existing landscape? With so much at stake with pollinators, Goldenrod plays an important role and works beautifully populating roadsides, meadows, and naturalized areas. As a result of its endurance, nurserymen have selected varieties that are well suited for the back yard. SO the next time you see this weed, try being a little more appreciative as to how it serves the bigger picture.