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History of Goldenrod

Making It Grow Minute Extra logo

It sure doesn’t feel like fall but many plants in the aster family, considered fall bloomers, are making an appearance. The most prominent is goldenrod, and I’m passing drifts of it on my drive from St. Matthews to Sumter. The genus is Solidago and I thought that referred to Sol, s o l in reference to the sun, but it seems that the name refers to words about making stronger or healing – this plant was used for many medicinal purposes by indigenous people for a variety of ailments from jaundice, kidney problems and skin ailments including burns, and they collected and ate the seeds. Mt. Sinai hospital’s website indicates it does act as a diuretic and in parts of Europe preparations from it are used to treat urinary tract infections and to help pass or prevent kidney stones.

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.