Friday, October 16, 2015

HAY FEVER? DON'T BLAME GOLDENROD!

A Beautiful (and innocent) Wildflower

 

I'm fighting the good fight to clear Goldenrod's name and place the blame where it belongs - on the Ragweed!

 

Blue-stemmed Goldenrod - This species of Goldenrod has gracefully arching stems with flowers along the length

 

Sorry that this is so hard to see - Ragweed can grow tall and straight or, when heavy with flowers, is can lean over and look very different. The leaves on the lower part of the plant are unlike the leaves toward the top of the flower stem.  The upper leaves look very much like those of Goldenrod,  The flowers are similar to the Goldenrod flowers, too, but not so much so that you won't be able to see the difference.

 

It's time to set the record straight and allow you all to love the Goldenrod.  I've been thinking about doing a post on Goldenrod and Ragweed because of the confusion about what causes Hay Fever.  It is Ragweed that is the villain.

 

Giant Goldenrod stands upright and can get to be seven feet tall.  That is 2.1336 meters (thank you, Google)

Ragweed can be either upright or leaning over and it grows to three feet tall (about 1 meter)

 

Goldenrod is blamed for the suffering many people go through in Fall.  Goldenrod blooms at the same time as Ragweed (late summer into fall), and it is bright, golden yellow and "in our face" noticeable.   Ragweed sits there, quietly distributing it's pollen into the wind, unobtrusive plant that it is, you don't even know it's there.

 

Giant Goldenrod in a field.

Ragweed in our yard.  At the bottom of the picture, in the middle, is a light green bunch of leaves - these are the lower leaves of Ragweed.  The flowers are mostly ding and look white.

 

 

Goldenrod is pollinated by insects and releases very little pollen into the air and into your eyes and nose.  Ragweed is pollinated by releasing pollen grains into the wind and right up your nose.



Giant Goldenrod along the road - they do love sun.

Ragweed in our yard.  Partial shade doesn't seem to bother it.  Look in the upper right corner of th eimage and you'll see an inset of the Ragweed lower leaves.


Goldenrod has many species, all beautiful.  The genus is Solidago and it grows EVERYWHERE!  Each species has a preferred habitat.  You'll find it at the seashore, in desert situations, in fields, marshes, waste places.  It is always a lovely plant and it does not give you Hay Fever.  True, there may be a very few folks who will react to Goldenrod but they are rare.  Here are a couple links for more information on Goldenrod.

 

 Distribution and miscellaneous info:

http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=SOLID

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldenrod

             and this is a lovely write up on Goldenrod:

http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/goldenrod.htm

 

Giant Goldenrod in a field.

Leaves of Ragweed

 


Giant Goldenrod

Ragweed


Thank you for your visit :>)  I hope you are now able to tell the difference from the bad guy, Ragweed, from the good guy, Goldenrod.  Remember - it's fine to enjoy the Goldenrod.  It doesn't give you allergies!




Giant Goldenrod

 Have a great weekend.  See you again soon.


Carol