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Euthamia Graminifolia

Euthamia Graminifolia

Euthamia Graminifolia

Euthamia graminifolia (Grass-Leaved Goldenrod) is an upright, erect perennial wildflower with many-branched inflorescences atop leafy branched stems. Blooming in mid summer to fall, they bear dense, flat-topped clusters of 20-35 pale to bright yellow flowers. The upper half of the plant appears bushy due to its branched stems and grass-like, narrow to linear, alternate leaves. The leaves emit a scent when crushed. Grass-Leaved Goldenrod provides a nectar source for pollinators, including long-tongued bees, short-tongued bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, moths, and beetles. Its dried seeds provide a food source for songbirds. Deer and rabbit enjoy browsing the plant. Adding a bold splash of color in the late season landscape, Grass-Leaved Goldenrod is a vigorous rhizomatous perennial that spreads aggressively to form colonies. Found in moist meadows, prairies, roadsides, conifer swamps or sandy moist shorelines through most of North America, Grass-Leaved Goldenrod is a good choice for erosion control, wildlife gardens or meadows. The small flowers attract many kinds of insects, including long-tongued bees, short-tongued bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, moths, and beetles.

Various wasps and a few beetle species, such as Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus (Goldenrod Soldier Beetle) and Epicauta pensylvanica (Black Blister Beetle), seem to be especially attracted to the flowers. Other insects feed destructively on the foliage and other parts of Grass-leaved Goldenrod (Euthamia graminifolia). These insects include leaf beetles, the larvae of gall flies, aphids, the larvae of moths, and Melanoplus femurrubrum (Red-legged Grasshopper); see the Insect Table for a listing of insects that feed on Euthamia spp. The seeds are eaten by the Eastern Goldfinch and Swamp Sparrow to a limited extent, while the foliage is occasionally consumed in limited amounts by the Greater Prairie Chicken, Cottontail Rabbit, and White-Tailed Deer. Grass-leaved Goldenrod can be distinguished from other Goldenrods (Solidago spp.) by its narrow leaves, bushier tops and typically smaller and more numerous flower clusters. This species is very similar and easily confused with Great Plains Goldenrod (Euthamia gymnospermoides), which is distinguished by its single prominent vein on the leaves, its smaller flower clusters with most flowers having short stalks, and its preference for drier prairie habitats. Some references list a few varieties of E. graminifolia but, according to Flora of North America, the differences are not consistent enough to be reliably separated and are therefore not recognized in Minnesota. (Source: www.minnesotawildflowers.info)

 

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