Compiled by Stephanie Aubert
If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t given this group of plants much thought. Solidago spp., commonly known as goldenrods, are a plant genus with 100 to 120 known species. They are native to all of what we know as North America, though there are species native to Europe and Asia as well.
Different species flower at different times. This staggered flowering provides important food for pollinators and other critters that rely on flowers. If you look closely at the goldenrods you encounter, you may notice subtle differences between species. For example, they range in height from 2 inches (5 cm) to 2.5 meters!
The leaves and seeds of goldenrod have been used for food in different ways over generations. The flowers and leaves have been used in earth-based medicines for centuries and are still used in this way today by some people. There are many resources available to dig deeper and get to know goldenrod better, including much documentation on different uses of the plant over the course of history. Check it out!
Fun Goldenrod Facts
- Many people believe they are allergic to goldenrod, but this is rarely the case–in fact, goldenrod pollen is actually relatively large and does not travel far by wind. The culprit is often and likely the pollen of ragweed which has smaller pollen that readily blows in the wind.
- Goldenrod contains rubber and has been used for rubber production in the past.
- In this study, researchers found that the collective compounds found in the oils of one goldenrod species had diuretic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic and spasmolytic, antibacterial, antifungal, anticancer and immunomodulatory properties.