Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Wildflower Wednesday

Can't believe it's Wednesday already.  School started yesterday and the weather has turned fall-like.  That means I have to show you an autumn wildflower.  This is Goldenrod.

It's growing in my backyard.  I should have pulled it up in the spring, but I couldn't get into the back of my garden to work there.  So now everything is a gorgeous yellow colour.  Many people consider this plant to be an invasive weed.  I have often thought this too, but it is currently used in gardens, especially wildflower gardens because it is so beautiful.  Goldenrod is in the Asteraceae family.

I have no idea which Goldenrod I have.  It is definitely a plume-like variety - maybe Tall Goldenrod (Solidago altissimo) or Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis).   There are more than 69 varieties growing around here.  This photo shows its plume-like flower heads.

Goldenrod is thought by many to bring good luck or good fortune.  Young leaves can be eaten and a tea can be brewed from the flower heads.  Native Peoples chewed the leaves to relieve sore throats and the roots to relieve toothaches.  Herbal practitioners use Goldenrod to treat kidney and bladder conditions.

This plant attracts insects, including bees and other pollinators.  Several interesting insects sometimes lay their eggs in goldenrods, creating a gall or swollen area on the stem where the larva lives and eats.  Woodpeckers have been known to attack this gall and eat the larva inside.  A type of wasp also digs into the gall and eats the larva.

This is sort of like a wildflower too.  I think the squirrels planted this one in my garden.  So far they have left it alone, but I don't think it will be for long.  That is why I took a photo this morning.  It is so beautiful!

I am going to save some seeds to plant next year.  That is, if the squirrels will let me.

Now getting ready to go out for lunch with my quilt group.  Now that September has started, I am back into the swing of quilty things.


Exuberant Color said...

I pulled out LOTS of Goldenrod in the spring and I still have it blooming all over the place. I must admit it is pretty (I love yellow!) but so invasive.

Terry said...

Your sunflowers are so pretty! :0)

Dolores said...

I definitely equate Goldenrod with fall. I have some that grew so tall that they have bent towards the grass.

Anonymous said...

I like goldenrod
I had some, not too many and they
finished blooming early.
Love the last colourfull flowers

Barb said...

Hope you had a fun time with the quilt group!

Wacky Woman said...

Ohhhhhhhh, I want to come play in your garden!