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:

Smoky Mountain Southern Fried Green Tomato Recipe
Smoky Mountain Southern Fried Green Tomato Recipe...
Smoky Mountain Southern Fried Green Tomato Recipe is the perfect solution to all the extra tomatoes from your garden. The HeySmokies.com culinar[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Poisonous Plants
Smoky Mountain Poisonous Plants...
Smoky Mountain Poisonous Plants. Don’t let poison ivy or its relatives scratch your summer fun. "It comes on like a rose, but everybody kno[Read More >>]
10 Essentials for Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains
10 Essentials for Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains...
10 Essentials for Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains. Packing the 10 Essentials for Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains is like your insurance [Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains Hikes For Healing Program Announced
Great Smoky Mountains Hikes For Healing Program Announced...
GSMNP Superintendent Cassius Cash leads Hikes For Healing program. Photo credit - GSMNP Great Smoky Mountains Hikes For Healing Program Ann[Read More >>]
Dollywood Flowers And Food Festival
Dollywood Flowers And Food Festival...
Dollywood Flowers And Food Festival promises to be beautiful and delicious! Dollywood Flowers And Food Festival. Dollywood has added a new f[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Full Buck Moon
Smoky Mountain Full Buck Moon...
Smoky Mountain Full Buck Moon Is On The Rise! No fireworks this year? No problem. Watch the full Buck Moon rise on the 4th of July inste[Read More >>]
Tick Safety Tips!
Tick Safety Tips!...
Tick Safety Tips! Ticks and what you need to know to stay safe! It is that time of year in the Smoky Mountains. Summertime and outdoor activitie[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains Facilities Open
Great Smoky Mountains Facilities Open...
Sugarlands Visitors Center Great Smoky Mountains Facilities Open. Great Smoky Mountains National Park has opened some campgrounds, visito[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Cades Cove Car Ban...
Cades Cove car ban implemented by Great Smoky Mountains National Park. National Park officials announce the implementation of vehicle-f[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Travel Advisory
Smoky Mountain Travel Advisory...
Smoky Mountain Travel Advisory. Smoky Mountain travel advisory. Upcoming Single-Lane Closures on the Spur. Great Smoky Mountains N[Read More >>]
Virtual Synchronous Firefly Event
Virtual Synchronous Firefly Event...
Can't make it to the big Smoky Mountain firefly event? No problem go virtually! Virtual Synchronous firefly event to be held Monday, June 1,[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Smoky Mountain Fire Ant Invasion...
Fire ants have marched into Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Smoky Mountain Fire Ant Invasion is underway. This small intruder may pose [Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Virtual Campout...
Smoky Mountain virtual campout will be fun for the entire family! Great Smoky Mountains National Park will co-host the National Park Service[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Clingmans Dome Opens...
Clingmans Dome Opens to the public for 2020 season. Clingmans Dome Opens. Clingmans Dome is one of the most popular destinations in the Grea[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Smoky Mountain Attractions Open...
Smoky Mountain attractions open after COVID-19 closures. Smoky Mountain attractions open after two months of covid-19 fears. Smoky Mount[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Opens
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Opens...
Great Smoky Mountains National Park opens with much anticipation. The Covid-19 virus pandemic forced the closure of Great Smoky Mountain[Read More >>]
Karen Pence Gets Outside Smoky Mountain Style
Karen Pence Gets Outside Smoky Mountain Style...
GSMNP Superintendent Cassius Cash welcomes dignitariies. Photo credit - GSMNP Karen Pence gets outside Smoky Mountain Style. Second Lady Kar[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Tamale Recipe
Smoky Mountain Tamale Recipe...
Smoky Mountain Tamale recipe. Homemade tamales are always a Smoky Mountain special event! Did you know that the Smoky Mountains are on the [Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Announces Phased Opening
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Announces Phased Opening...
Wildlife braces for the return of humans to GSMNP. Photo credit - myvetcandy Great Smoky Mountains National Park announces phased opening. B[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Dandelions
Smoky Mountain Dandelions...
Smoky Mountain dandelions (whose Botanical name is Taraxacum officinale) considered by many to be an obnoxious, stubborn, persistent weed are an[Read More >>]