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Making It Grow Radio Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Like Rodney Dangerfield, some wildflowers can’t get a break. Sneezeweed and goldenrod, with their late summer prolific yellow flowers get blamed for hayfever as ragweed, with inconspicuous wind-pollinated flowers blooms at the same time. Right now waste areas like the roadsides are brightly colored by the yellow flowers of bitter sneezeweed. There are historical reports of native peoples’ drying the leaves into a snuff like powder used to induce sneezes, believed to purify ones body, at certain times of the year. The genus name Helenium comes from the tale that these plants arose from where Helen of Troy’s tears fell on the ground. One thing none of the names tells you is that this plant is poisonous to non-native animals, including people, fortunately it tastes terrible.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.