Alleries Flaring? Don't Blame Goldenrod!

Aug 29, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Clumps of goldenrod are brightening our roadsides and gardens. Garden club ladies don’t want watery eyes or runny noses, so you can bet they did their homework before encouraging our General Assembly to name goldenrod as the state wildflower. Plants with showy colorful flowers are usually trying to attract insect pollinators to carry their relatively heavy pollen from one flower to the next, and that’s exactly what happens with goldenrod. So put the blame on the small, nondescript male flowers of the ubiquitous native ragweed which depend on wind to move their pollen to receptive female blossoms and also into our faces. After the wind does its part to help in reproduction, each plant makes thousands of seeds and they can last 40 years! Native to North America, this annual weed has moved with grain shipments across the world.