Hidden in Plain Sight: The Everyday Wild Plant With Extraordinary Health Perks



In late summer or early fall, goldenrod graces meadows and fields with its bright golden blooms. As most other flowers fade away with the season’s turning, goldenrod opens its lovely blossoms, much to the relief of nectar-hungry pollinators.

But before we get into the nitty-gritty of its medicinal uses, let’s begin by discussing what goldenrod is, how to grow it, its garden benefits, and some common misconceptions many folks have about it.

What Is Goldenrod

Goldenrod is an herbaceous perennial wildflower native to North America; it grows all across the United States, Canada, and parts of Mexico. It belongs to the Solidago genus, which comprises over 100 species and several cultivars.

How to Identify Goldenrod

Because there are  so many goldenrod  species, it’s difficult to  provide specific identifying characteristics, as goldenrod species can differ in leaf shape and size, leaf and stem texture (smooth or rough), habitat, and overall growth pattern.

Toxic Look-Alikes

Goldenrod plants can look superficially similar to many species in the Senecio species, which are commonly known as groundsel, ragwort, life root, or staggerweed (note that some of these plants have been reclassified into different genera than Senecio).

Does Goldenrod Cause Allergies?

There’s a common misconception that goldenrod pollen causes allergic reactions. However, this isn’t the case, as the actual culprit is ragweed pollen (Ambrosia spp.).  Both plants grow in similar habitats (meadows, open fields, roadsides, ditches) and bloom at the same time.

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