As early as July, the goldenrod had grown tall, but was blending in with the other wildflowers and, yes, weeds, along highways throughout the South, and probably other places, too. I saw it in Georgia and Alabama on a trip in early July. By now, its blooms are painting the sides of highways and country roads gold.
We can appreciate its beauty more now that we know it is not the cause of seasonal allergies. The culprit is ragweed which blooms about the same time as goldenrod.
If it has not yet begun to turn that gorgeous golden color, it will any day now. I hate to think of the time I ripped out a lot of goldenrod before I knew it was the ragweed (that I left untouched) that caused my sneezes, runny nose, and itchy eyes. No wonder I didn’t feel any better!
Unlike plants with large, showy blossoms, wildflowers typically have clusters of tiny flowers. This is probably why they re-seed themselves so readily to provide large masses of color. Here’s a closer look at those tiny flowers.
Goldenrod was once the state flower of Alabama, but many who wanted a “real” flower, not a wildflower had it changed to the camellia which is gorgeous, but requires a lot more attention than the self-sufficient goldenrod. We’ll talk about camellias another time. Oh, before I forget, goldenrod still has the honor of being the state wildflower.