Showy Goldenrod, Solidago speciosa

Showy Goldenrod

Solidago speciosa

Benefits:
Sun Shade:
Bloom Time: Late Summer/Early Fall
Zones: 3, 4, 5
Soil Conditions: Loam, Sand
Soil Moisture: Dry, Medium
Color: Yellow
Fragrance: Yes
Height: 1 - 3 feet
Spacing: 1 foot


Description

Showy Goldenrod (Solidago speciosa) is a rhizomatous, perennial which typically occurs in dry soils in open woods, fields and prairies. Features tiny, bright yellow flowers borne in dense, erect, club-shaped terminal clusters atop stiff, narrow-leaved, reddish stems typically growing 2-3 feet tall. Flowers bloom mid to late summer. As the common name suggests, this species is one of the showiest of the many goldenrods. Attractive to bees and butterflies.

The blooming period occurs during late summer or early fall, and lasts about a month. Later, the achenes develop small tufts of hairs, and are dispersed by the wind. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous, occasionally forming vegetative offsets. In older mature plants, a woody caudex develops.

Habitats include mesic to slightly dry black soil prairies, sand prairies, openings in rocky upland forests, Black Oak savannas, thickets, woodland borders, and abandoned fields.

Goldenrods have been wrongly accused of causing hay fever which is actually an allergic reaction to wind-borne pollen from other plants such as ragweed.

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates poor, dry soils. The preference is full or partial sun, and slightly moist to slight dry conditions. The soil can contain significant amounts of loam, sand, or rocky material. This plant is easy to grow, but can topple over if it is spoiled by excessive moisture or fertilizer.

Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  May need to be divided every 2 to 3 years to control growth.
  Mammalian herbivores occasionally eat the leaves, stems, and flowers, including deer and rabbits..
  Remove spent flower clusters to encourage additional bloom.
Further Information

Wild Ones of the Fox Valley Area
Prairie Nursery
Wisconsin DNR
Wisconsin Native Plant Nurseries