Goldenrod is Not Guilty

Diane Greening Ask CFC

Q.  I always heard that goldenrod caused fall allergies--why would I want it in my garden?

 

monarch goldenrod

Goldenrod: Showy flowers = insect pollinated

A. Goldenrod is not guilty!   Those showy goldenrod flowers attract attention and the blame--but they are designed to attract pollinators.  Heavy, sticky goldenrod pollen clings to insects traveling between plants--nearly impossible to get in your nose. Goldenrod also supports butterflies, other beneficial insects, and birds. Support your local pollinators and enjoy the lovely yellow flowers: plant goldenrod.

cm_ragweed1

Ragweed: Insignificant flowers = wind pollinated

There is a plant culprit: ragweed.  Ragweed, which blooms at the same time as goldenrod, relies on the wind for pollination.  A single ragweed plant can release one billion grains of pollen a season. These light grains float easily even on gentle breezes. Pollen has been detected 400 miles out to sea and up to two miles up in the atmosphere.  Ragweed's insignificant flowers do not need to lure pollinators, and rarely get second notice from humans.