Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Goldenrod Treasures

Goldenrod is NOT responsible for allergies.

Our goldenrod is blooming beautifully. It looks like a weed all summer long as it grows taller and taller, but at this time of year everybody knows why we left it in the yard. Such a bright beauty can't help but make you smile.

Goldenrod is unique among the flowers. It gives bees their last chance at a good winter feed. It is not only rich in nectar, but has a very high quality, protein-rich pollen.

The pollen is heavy and sticky, designed for insect pollination, not wind, so it does not contribute to hayfever and Fall allergies. The only way to get goldenrod pollen in your nasal passages is to stick the flower up your nose.

Goldenrod attracts more varieties of insects than just about any other flower. It really brings out the wasps, which may not even visit flowers until goldenrod blooms. It also draws insect preditors who feast on the visiting insects. The most amazing thing to note is that honeybees are the most frequent visitors.

This plant is considered a weed in most yards .... but if you allow it to remain you will be blessed with rich Fall color. We have transplanted most of ours on what we call Butterfly Bank since butterflies are wild about it also.

Read more about this wonderful wildflower and see pictures of different varieties. Find some in your area on private land and ask the owner if you can take some home. Don't remove plants from the wild. The wildlife in that area needs it. Local nurseries are also selling goldenrod now in perennials. It attracts beneficial insects that will feed on the bad ones.

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