Fun Facts About Goldenrod Plants That You Never Heard Before | Kidadl


Fun Facts About Goldenrod Plants That You Never Heard Before

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Goldenrod has more than 150 species, which are perennial herbs belonging to the genus Solidago, belonging to the aster family.

Goldenrod is a species of wildflower that is often considered a weed. Here we will discuss how to plant these flowers and look after them, and why they are very beneficial for your garden.

Goldenrod is a common name for many flowers belonging to the sunflower family, genus solidago. The word 'solidago' means to ‘make whole or heal’, which is named because of the medicinal properties of the goldenrod solidago. Goldenrod solidago requires strong sunlight to grow completely.

The blooming of these partial-shade yellow flowers is very beautiful, so it is sad that they are often considered weeds as they grow in clusters.

Goldenrod solidago plants vary in height, ranging from very short, about a foot or two, to several feet in height. They have golden flower spikes, which bloom from late summer to early fall.

Goldenrod flowers are a traditional ingredient used in medicines, herbal supplements, and teas, mainly for improving urinary health or reducing inflammation. Extracts of goldenrod solidago are used in treating various ailments related to the kidneys, bladder and urethra, mainly UTIs, and related conditions like kidney stones.

The anti-inflammatory properties of goldenrod solidago help to control joint pain, arthritis, and related conditions, although there has not been a lot of scientific research carried out yet into the medicinal properties of the goldenrod solidago plant. It essentially supplies various beneficial plant compounds like saponins, and flavonoid antioxidants, like kaempferol and quercetin.

Goldenrod solidago plants can be found across Europe, Asia, South America, and North America, although the species is native to North America. Canadian goldenrod is also known as solidago canadensis and has spread into Europe.

European goldenrod (solidago virgaurea) was introduced in Europe about 250 years ago, where it was used to manufacture yellow dye. Being essentially a wildflower plant species, it can be seen growing in various places, ranging from fields, roadside ditches, bushlands, woodlands, and more.

The plants are said to provide shelter for multiple insect larvae, as well as attract a large number of butterflies and bees due to their strong, conspicuous scent of sweet nectar.

Did you know golden-rod is often blamed for causing hay fever!

It cross-pollinates easily with other plants, which has given rise to its various species which can be found in almost any weather condition. Pollen seeds and seed clusters of goldenrod are quite heavy and sticky, and most of them are mainly carried by pollinating insects like bees and butterflies.

Both European goldenrod (solidago virgaurea) and Canadian goldenrod (solidago canadensis) are planted in the wild to create a natural yellow dye. Goldenrod is the state flower of two states in the USA; it is the state flower of Kentucky and also of Nebraska. It was adopted as a state flower in both the states in 1926 and 1895 respectively. Recently, goldenrod was also named the state wildflower for South Carolina. The state flower is of great significance for the region.

Be it spring or fall, these wild flowers are planted along the edges of the meadows or waste areas for adding beauty to the area.

Read on to find out more about goldenrod, such as how to plant it, and also interesting facts about the yellow plant.

How do you plant goldenrod?

The goldenrod plant has small toothed leaves which grow along the stem, and yellow flowers which are both disk or ray flowers, usually clustered together. Read on to find out how you plant it.

Some species of goldenrod are clump plants, which appear bushy because of their many stems, while some species have a single stem opening into several branches. Clumps can be divided during spring or fall.

To plant a goldenrod sapling, dig a hole that is bigger than the root ball, and can accommodate it while leaving extra space.

Place the sapling in it and backfill the pit with soil. Regular watering might be necessary initially for the plant, to help it take root in the new soil.

After it is growing prosperously, it is not very difficult to take care of the goldenrod plant, as it is quite self-dependent and strong. These flowers require only partial shade to grow.

Goldenrod can grow abundantly in well-drained as well as sandy soil. It blooms well if given ample sunlight, but partial shade can also help goldenrod grow, albeit with lesser blooms.

Goldenrod does not need frequent watering, as it grows on very small amounts of water and is drought resistant as well. It does not need additional fertilizers than the ones the soil naturally provides, and it can grow well in soils with low fertility rates.

Some goldenrod species with aggressive natures are considered weeds, mainly because they compete with other plants for growth and may cover the entire expanse of a garden if left unchecked. Hence, the aggressive nature and growth can be tamped down by cutting their tips and flowers once a year to avoid excess pollination.

Goldenrod is also deer resistant and does not cause any disease or insect problems if grown in the garden. It is also safe for pets to eat, and confers similar medicinal qualities to animals as it does to humans. Bees and butterflies are attracted to the plant and feed on its nectar.

It is essential to leave adequate space between the seed or plants, about 1 ft - 3 ft (0.3 - 0.9 m), which helps the plants with air circulation and also helps with avoiding the goldenrod's aggressive nature when it can encroach upon other neighboring plants.

As goldenrod is a tough plant, drought-tolerant, and resistant to disease naturally, it is not necessary to fertilize the plant with chemicals or organic fertilizers. Rather, excessive fertilization might lead to floppy growth and less blooming.

Goldenrod can become a nuisance in the garden if left to pollinate, as they can cross-pollinate and grow in numbers quite efficiently. Hence, beheading the flowering areas of the plants might help in reducing the growth.

If any stray animals or wildlife frequent your yard or garden to feed on plants, you can also leave these seed heads for them to chow on. For taller varieties, heading or stalking of stems is essential so as to control their growth. This also helps to keep the goldenrod shorter and bushier, as well as blooming more because of the formation of lateral branches made from stalking the plant.

Most of the time, the maintenance needed by goldenrod needs to be done when you don’t want to spread goldenrod everywhere in your garden. Other times, the plant is quite self-sufficient and looks after itself.

One simple way to avoid unnecessary growth is to create underground barriers to restrict the underground spread, or simply to grow your plants inside a pot.

Another method that works to contain the growth of goldenrod is to transplant it once every two to three years, so as to avoid it from fully establishing its roots and sabotaging other plants.

Did you know Goldenrod can be propagated via seed and rhizome sprouts?

When should you plant goldenrod?

Goldenrod is a herbaceous perennial plant, which generally blooms from late summer to early fall. Some species, like 'fireworks', (scientific name solidago rugosa), may continue to bloom until the first frost. Most species of goldenrod, like solidago canadensis, are native to North America. One variety of goldenrod, called solidago sphacelata, also has evergreen foliage. But when should you plant goldenrod?

Goldenrod produces small clusters of bright yellow tiny florets, which can be broad or flat-topped corymbs, while some can be clustered on feathery or hairy stems.

Goldenrod blossoms make one of the most bright and beautiful sights in late summer, as one can come across wide fields blooming with goldenrod bushes in the full sun, with the bright yellow and golden flowers blooming on the top.

Compared to Europe, goldenrod has yet to gain acceptance in America, which is mainly due to the fact that goldenrod is widely considered more of a weed than an ornamental plant.

Goldenrod is not widely available as seeds but, if sown as seeds, the best time to do so is in spring, when the chances of the seed taking root are the highest.

Plant the seeds in moist soil, and cover them with another thin layer of soil. Make sure you plant the seeds only in the places where you want the goldenrod plants to grow, as their aggressive nature means they can be quite invasive.

Make sure that the seeds are sown on the soil surface and not too deep, as these seeds need a lot of sunlight in order to germinate.

Keep the soil moist until you see little sprouts appear on the soil, and then water the area to keep the soil moist, by leaving it dry for a while so that the soil does not become too soggy for the goldenrod sapling.

Another way to plant goldenrod seeds is to plant them in a pot and grow them indoors for a few weeks before planting them outdoors in spring, or even early fall so that the plant takes on flowers in late fall.

Goldenrod plants need moderate watering weekly in order to keep the soil moist, which is optimum for their healthy growth. The soil must not be too soggy or dry, although mature goldenrod plants are drought resistant.

When the plants mature, they can be watered once a month or so, otherwise, the rainfall supplements its water need efficiently.

Goldenrod can grow healthily in various temperatures, and various species have adapted to growing in different types of climate and conditions. Pruning, pinching, or stalking the tips of the plant helps to produce bushier growth and more blooms. Goldenrod generally dies down to the ground if affected by frost.

A good way to enjoy the beautiful yellow flowers all year round, and bring the glow of late summer into your home, is to make or buy dried arrangements.

Goldenrod flowers can be used to make delicious tea and salads.

Where should you plant goldenrod?

What's the best place to grow goldenrod? Goldenrod needs abundant sunlight to grow. Most species of goldenrod grow in full sunlight, but there are some woodland species that can grow in partial shade as well. Goldenrod thrives in well-drained soil, which can be found in any average garden.

Some species can also grow in sandy, clay, or rocky soils. Rather, planting goldenrod in overly rich soil can cause floppy leaves.

Goldenrod is a plant native to North America, where one can find almost 60 of its species across various regions. Goldenrod can be found in almost every landscape; on mountains, in swamps, in fields, forests, woodlands, meadows, and on roadside shrubs.

In more inhabited settings, goldenrod can be found growing in yards, parks, and gardens. Hence, you can plant goldenrod in any of these places and it can flourish well.

It is also a major part of the floral spectacle in fall, on the Great Plains east of the Atlantic.

The species Canadian goldenrod (solidago canadensis) has hairy stems and toothed leaves and is often grown as an ornamental garden plant.

Several species of wildflowers like goldenrod are used to decorate gardens because of their bright, beautiful flowers. These flowers also become the source of food for insects like bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.

The varieties of goldenrod that are more clump-forming in bushes are generally preferred in a garden display, as they do not spread aggressively like other species of goldenrod.

Although goldenrod is not affected by any diseases or insects, there is one condition in which the foliage can be affected by powdery mildew or rust. This problem can be avoided if the plant is exposed to full sun and there is enough space between two plants in order to improve air circulation.

Full sun is important for the wellness of any plant. Full sun gives all sorts of necessary nutrition to a plant. Also, goldenrod is known for attracting butterflies due to their bright colors and sweet nectar, they make one of the top choices of plants to be grown in a butterfly garden. Goldenrod also attracts other insects like bees, who are considered the primary pollinators.

Interesting Facts About The Goldenrod Plant

Here are some more fascinating facts about the popular plant:

Although goldenrod can grow in less fertile soils, these plants can actually help to enrich the soil with nitrogen. More nitrogen means higher vegetative growth in the soil.

One of the most researched species of goldenrod is solidago virgaurea, which is also known as European goldenrod. It has been researched mainly for its health benefits for humans, which include combating inflammation.

Goldenrod has been used in ancient Chinese medicine as well as herbal medicine in several European countries, mostly the parts which grow above the ground, like leaves, stems, and flowers.

One can find goldenrod tea or goldenrod dietary supplements on the market. People are frequently told that goldenrod causes hay fever, which is an allergy caused by pollen.

The seeds are edible but the flowers are also edible. They are usually found on the edges of waste areas. This is why, oftentimes, they are dismissed as mere weeds.

Goldenrod contains plant compounds like saponins, which have antifungal properties. Another compound, called flavonoids, which perform antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions, can be found in abundance in the goldenrod plant. Some studies suggest that the antioxidants found in goldenrod are much higher than that in green tea or Vitamin C.

It has also been stated by some scientists that goldenrod may be used to help the treatment of urinary tract issues, including overactive bladder and urinary tract infections (UTIs). Goldenrod has antispasmodic, aquaretic, and antiseptic qualities, which aid in increasing the functionality of kidneys as well as helping to reduce inflammation in conditions like kidney stones or bacterial infection. However, the research on this subject is still, as yet, inadequate.

It has been found that native Americans used to chew on the leaves of goldenrod. They helped the native Americans to relieve sore throats and toothache. Hence, it has been a part of the native American medicine cabinet for centuries.

Animal research and preliminary testtube research have found that goldenrod plants may help in controlling weight, have cancer-fighting abilities, support heart health, and skin aging. However, these potential qualities are not researched in-depth yet, nor have they been tested on humans.

Growing goldenrod in your garden also offers various advantages. Not only does it add beauty to your garden because of its beautiful colors and attracting butterflies, but it also attracts bugs, who then get consumed by other beneficial insects who lay their eggs in the plant.

As mentioned above, several insects who belong to the lepidoptera species lay their larvae on goldenrod plants. The goldenrod is known for forming a gall, or a leathery covering, to capture any invading insects. Parasitoid wasps tend to penetrate these bulbs or galls and lay their eggs inside the insect. Many birds like woodpeckers feed on these bulbs filled with insects and wasp larvae.

Thomas Edison, the great American scientist and inventor, conducted experiments on the goldenrod’s ability to produce rubber, which can be found naturally, to some extent, in plants. He created a fertilization process in order to enhance the quantity of rubber content in goldenrod, creating a variety that contained almost 12% rubber. This variety of rubber was extremely resilient and long-lasting, which was also used to manufacture the tires on the Model T, the first make of Ford car. Even though Thomas Edison submitted his research to the U.S. Government before his death, the discovery of goldenrod rubber was never researched further.

Hemant Oswal
Written By
Hemant Oswal

<p>With global experience in marketing and business development, Hemant is a seasoned professional with a unique perspective. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from the University of Delhi and a Master's degree in Marketing from The University of Adelaide in Australia. Hemant's work in China, Hong Kong, and Dubai has honed his skills and provided valuable experience. He broadens his understanding of the world through reading non-fiction books and watching documentaries.</p>

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