Smoky Mountain Goldenrod

Smoky Mountain Goldenrod adds to color to late summer and fall!

Smoky Mountain Goldenrod adds to color to late summer and fall!

Smoky Mountain Goldenrod. Of all the wildflowers that grace the fields in late summer and fall, probably none is more misunderstood than goldenrod.  Thought to be the cause of fall hay fever and other sinus problems, goldenrod instead is both an autumn or late summer beauty as well as a healer.  Indeed, its Latin name, solidago, can be translated as “making whole.”

A member of the aster family and native to North America, goldenrods occur in over 100 species and have been introduced to South America, Europe, and Asia.  Domesticated varieties have also been developed for flower gardens.

All varieties grow from large woody rhizomes that form clumps of flowers, typically 3 feet tall with a spread of 1.5 feet.  Goldenrod prefers an airy, sunny location in a meadow or field with good drainage. Its moisture needs are fairly modest, allowing it to tolerate both drought and poor soils, even East Tennessee clay.  Moreover, goldenrod is free from most plant diseases, but can develop rust or powdery mildew in rainy weather, especially if the plants do not have good air circulation. Consequently, spacing is an important consideration when planting goldenrod.

Insect pests are no problem for goldenrod.  Rather goldenrod attracts a wide variety of butterflies, bees, and wasps and so makes an excellent addition to a pollinator garden as well as providing its rich dusky to bright yellow blooms at a time when other flowers are fading.  Some types of flies do deposit their eggs in goldenrod stems, which then develop bulbous galls in which the larvae feed.  However, these galls do not harm the plant.

Native Americans and settlers made a tea from goldenrod leaves to treat sore throats, toothaches, colds, flu, inflammation, and kidney-urinary tract infections.

But what about the accusations that goldenrod causes sinus problems.  This arises from the fact that ragweed produces its pollen at the same time that goldenrod blooms.  The air-borne ragweed pollen can stick to the tacky goldenrod leaves that may even be some distance away, creating the impression that goldenrod is culprit.  So it’s a good idea to keep ragweed far away from goldenrod.  Otherwise, goldenrod makes a nearly trouble-free addition to our flower and pollinator gardens.

HeySmokies.com is honored to have Carl Parsons as a contributing writer. Carl is Deputy Editor for Storyteller Magazine, a member of the Writers’ Guild of Sevier County, TN, and a Tennessee Master Gardener.

More Hey Smokies Features:

5 Awesome Winter Things To Do In The Smoky Mountains
5 Awesome Winter Things To Do In The Smoky Mountains...
5 Awesome Winter Things To Do In The Smoky Mountains! We love winter in the Smoky Mountains. The crowds thin out and the traffic slows down. Cle[Read More >>]
Remember When, Lost Smoky Mountain Attractions - Hunter Hills Theater
Remember When, Lost Smoky Mountain Attractions - Hunter Hills Theater...
Remember When, Lost Smoky Mountain Attractions - Hunter Hills Theater. Gatlinburg is widely known as a national vacation destination offering[Read More >>]
New Year Beans And Greens Recipe
New Year Beans And Greens Recipe...
New Year Beans And Greens Recipe. What is behind the Southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas and collard greens on New Years day? Some folk[Read More >>]
New Years Eve Bootlegger's Ball
New Years Eve Bootlegger's Ball...
New Years Eve Bootlegger's Ball will ring in 2020 Tuesday, December 31, 2019. This roaring good time will be held at Junction 35 Spirits in Pige[Read More >>]
German Christmas Lebkuchen Recipe
German Christmas Lebkuchen Recipe...
German Christmas Lebkuchen recipe is one of the most beloved and popular Christmas treats in Deutschland. The recipe dates back to the 14th cent[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains Oconaluftee Holiday Homecoming
Great Smoky Mountains Oconaluftee Holiday Homecoming...
Great Smoky Mountains Oconaluftee Holiday Homecoming. The annual holiday homecoming at the Oconaluftee Visitors Center is scheduled for Saturday[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Fraser Fir Trees, America's Favorite Christmas Tree
Smoky Mountain Fraser Fir Trees, America's Favorite Christmas Tree...
Smoky Mountain Fraser Fir Trees, America's Favorite Christmas Tree.  The Fraser fir, which can reach some 55-feet tall in the wild, is the only [Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountain Annual Festival Of Christmas Past
Great Smoky Mountain Annual Festival Of Christmas Past...
Great Smoky Mountain Annual Festival Of Christmas Past Saturday, December 14, 2019. The event will be held at Sugarlands Visitor Center beginnin[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Long Cold Full Moon
Smoky Mountain Long Cold Full Moon...
Smoky Mountain Long Cold Full Moon is on the rise! The final full moon for 2019 and the decade will reach its apex at 12:12 a.m. on December 12t[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Winterfest
Smoky Mountain Winterfest...
Smoky Mountain Winterfest begins November 22, 2019 and runs through February 15, 2020. This celebration of light gives our mountain communities [Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Southern Mac And Cheese Recipe
Smoky Mountain Southern Mac And Cheese Recipe...
Smoky Mountain Southern Mac And Cheese Recipe is the perfect side dish for any meal and sometimes it is a great meal all by itself. All you [Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Event 2020
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Event 2020...
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Event 2020. It’s never to early to start making plans to see the Synchronous Fireflies (and the Blue Ghost Fi[Read More >>]
Biltmore Downton Abbey Exhibition Special Event
Biltmore Downton Abbey Exhibition Special Event...
  Biltmore Downton Abbey Exhibition Special Event will be featured through April 7, 2020. Costumes, sets and more are part of the new Down[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Elk Rut
Smoky Mountain Elk Rut...
Smoky Mountain Elk Rut is heating up in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.The fall mating season begins each year around mid-September and is [Read More >>]
Dollywood Light The Way 5K
Dollywood Light The Way 5K...
Dollywood Light The Way 5K is scheduled for Friday November 15, 2019 at Dollywood. This annual event is celebrating its seventh year running. Th[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Full Beaver Moon
Smoky Mountain Full Beaver Moon...
Smoky Mountain Full Beaver Moon is set to rise November 12, 2019. There is no place more special to view the rise of a full moon than Great Smok[Read More >>]
Don't Feed The Bears Event
Don't Feed The Bears Event...
Don't Feed The Bears Event benefitting Appalachian Bear Rescue will be Saturday, November 16, 2019. The event will be held at the Enchanted Vall[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Stargazing Event
Smoky Mountain Stargazing Event...
Great Smoky Mountains Stargazing Event will be held at the Highlands Science Learning Center Friday, November 15, 2019 in North Carolina. The Hi[Read More >>]
Apple Dapple Cake Recipe
Apple Dapple Cake Recipe...
Apple Dapple Cake Recipe. Fall is one of our favorite times of the year in the Smoky Mountains. With the cooler temperatures comes the annual ap[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Ghost Stories
Smoky Mountain Ghost Stories...
Smoky Mountain Ghost Stories. The Smoky Mountain region is steeped in strange and unexplainable occurrences that some say are supernatural. We h[Read More >>]