A Sweet Goldenrod

A Sweet Goldenrod

Sweet Goldenrod

A stately plant for the fragrant garden, Solidago odora (Sweet Goldenrod) is a clump-forming, slowly enlarging perennial boasting upright stems clad with lance-shaped, dark green leaves, 4 in. long (10 cm), that smell like anise when crushed. In midsummer to early fall, it bears densely packed clusters of yellow flowers along one side of slightly arching branches. Attractive to birds, bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, Sweet Goldenrod provides a bold splash of color in the late season garden. Easy to grow, low care and trouble free, it is a great choice for sunny beds and borders, meadows or open woodland gardens. Its leaves and dried flowers may be used in teas.


Sweet goldenrod is a low maintenance native herbaceous perennial wildflower. Growing 2 to 3 feet tall, it has gracefully arching stems of yellow flowers that erupt from basal clumps in the late summer and early fall. It is primarily clump-forming and does not spread aggressively as do some of the other goldenrod species and hybrids. This wildflower naturalizes well, is drought resistant and tolerates clay soil. It would grow well along a border or in a butterfly, cottage, or herb garden. It is often accused of causing hay fever because it blooms at the same time as some wind-borne pollen plants (like ragweed).Sweet goldenrod (Solidago odora) has a long history of medicinal use by Native Americans and was exported for tea in the nineteenth century. In 1996 sweet goldenrod was proclaimed the State Herb of Delaware. The essential oil of flowering tops ofS. odora f.odora originally from Maryland is characterized by 70.81 ±3.82% methyl chavicol (estragole) and 12.45 ±2.26% myrcene, while the essential oil of flowering tops of S. odora f.

inodora from Delaware is characterized by 31.28±13.26% myrcene, 27.09±4.13% limonene, and 12.89±4.41% (E)-methyl isoeugenol. While no toxic principles could be found in the essential oil, further study is still needed to confirm that the toxicity reported in previous studies is due entirely to infestations by goldenrod rust,Coleosporium asterum. The larger flower is actually a collection of flowers of two distinct types: fertile ray flowers with seed producing parts, and disk flowers that contain both pollen and seed producing parts. This structure is called a “composite” flower, a trait found in the entire Aster family. Goldenrod flowers are yellow and bloom late in the summer (July) and into fall (November).Sweet goldenrod (Solidago odora) is one of the over 30 species of goldenrods native to Kentucky according to the USDA Plant Database. This species of goldenrod is also native to most of the eastern U.S. (sorry Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Maine – it’s not native in your states) and a few states west of the Mississippi River. It is a medium height species of goldenrod, typically only growing 2-4 feet tall, although it can get as tall as 5 feet. (Source: www.backyardecology.net)




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