Strawberry Social 2018
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Douglas Justice - Cherry Trees and Blooms
Wednesday March 4th, 2020 - 7.00 p.m.
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A plant that is still blooming in my garden is Solidago, commonly called goldenrod. It is from the asteraceae family and there are between 100 and 120 species in North America. A few also occur in South America and Eurasia. People often shy away from goldenrod in the belief that it exacerbates allergies when it is ragweed, the Ambrosia plant that blooms at the same which is the culprit not the Solidago. Ambrosia pollen is light and easily spreads on the wind casting the allergens far and wide.

Solidago has a thick nectar and is beloved by bees, wasps, flies and butterflies and is therefore a good pollinator plant. This hardy woody perennial has yellow spike like flowers and mid green 4-12” long narrow elliptic to lance shaped leaves. It will grow in poor soil in sun and light shade. Just before and during World War 2 Henry Ford and George Washington Carver collaborated to produce synthetic rubber, which was needed for the war effort, from the leaves of solidago. But with only 7% product it wasn’t viable.  It is a long lasting cut flower and in the fall garden the bright yellow flowers combine so well with Michaelmas daises and especially with the late blooming tall blue monkshood, Aconitum carmichaelii.

The traditional herbalists used it for a kidney tonic and the native peoples chewed the leaves to relieve sore throats and chewed the roots to relieve toothaches. As a specie it can become invasive but the different hybrids that are commercially available spread slowly and range from 1-3 “.  Propagate by dividing the clump in autumn.     

Wendie Kottmeier