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Allergies? Don't Blame Goldenrod!

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Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Although it doesn’t feel like fall, with temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s, many plants we associate with autumn, especially in the aster family, are coming into flower. The roads I travel from St. Matthews to Sumter are made beautiful now by drifts of goldenrod. I thought that the scientific name of the genus, Solidago, since it has s o l in it, referred to the sun, but apparently the name comes from words about making stronger or healing as goldenrod was important in treating many ailments back in the day when plants were the source of our medicines. Some people blame goldenrod when they take medicine for itching eyes and runny noses, but the male flowers produce heavy pollen moved by insects. So feel free to cut it, enjoy it in flower arrangements, or even a floral wreath to wear in your hair.

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.