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Seaside Goldenrod

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Our coastal and some neighboring counties are home to seaside or beach goldenrod, Solidago sempervirens. It grows up to six feet and has larger flower heads than other goldenrods making it quite attractive -- I have it in my garden. It’s an important plant in dune stabilization and restoration as it’s tolerant to high salinity and salt spray and has pretty good drought tolerance, too. Often it is found growing with other native plants creating shelter and nesting sites for willets, piping plovers and other ground nesting birds. It has stocky rhizomes and roots that extend a foot or more providing good erosion control -- fortunate as we face increased high tides and storms. Also, for the imperiled monarch butterflies, it’s a good food source in the Atlantic coastal flyway as it flowers through October and grows from Canada to Florida and westward to Texas.

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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.