Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The goldenrod is a flowering plant in the Family Asteraceae. About 100 species make up the genus Solidago, most being found in North America, and a few from Europe. Many species are difficult to distinguish.
The goldenrod is the state flower of the U.S. states of Kentucky (adopted March 16, 1926) and Nebraska (adopted April 4, 1895). It used to be the state flower of Alabama, being adopted as such on September 6, 1927, but was later rejected in favour of the camellia. Goldenrod was recently named the state wildflower for South Carolina.
Probably due to their bright yellow flower heads blooming around the same time as ragweed, the goldenrod is often unfairly blamed for causing hay fever in humans. In reality, goldenrod pollen is too heavy to be blown far from the flowers.
Goldenrods can be used for decoration and making tea. Goldenrods are, in some places, held as a sign of good luck or good fortune; but they are considered weeds by some. The flowers of goldenrod are eaten by the larvae of Lepidoptera species including Wormwood Pug, Golden-rod Pug, The V-Pug and Common Pug (which also feeds on the leaves).
Garden use: British gardeners adopted goldenrod long before Americans. Goldenrod only began to gain some acceptance in American gardening (other than wildflower gardening) during the 1980s. A hybrid with aster, known as xSolidaster is less unruly, with pale yellow flowers, equally suitable for dried arrangements.
Solidago canadensis was introduced as a garden plant in Central Europe, and is now common in the wild. In Germany, it is considered an invasive species that displaces native vegetation from its natural habitat.
- Goldenrod identification: http://www.ontariowildflower.com/goldenrods.htm
- Goldenrods as state flowers: http://www.geobop.com/Symbols/plants/flowers/goldenrods/
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