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  • Writer's pictureJeanne McRight

A gorgeous fall-blooming woodland native

Love Blue stem goldenrod (Solidago caesia), a lovely woodland perennial and native to southern Ontario in the Lake Erie Lowlands ecozone. Great for dappled shade under trees, can take dry soils and loves leaf mulch. Stays low, clump-foorming (doesn't pop up everywhere) and blooms all fall. Gorgeous and best of all, beloved by a large number of differnt types of pollinators. Looks spectacular with fall-blooming woodland asters.

Solidago caesia blooming in fall garden.
Blue stem goldenrod (Solidago caesia). Photo ©2020 Jeanne McRight

Guess what - goldenrods do NOT make you sneeze. Insect-pollinated goldenrod can be an allergen but that's not likely. Its pollen is collected by insects, and so is big-grained, sticky and heavy. It falls to the ground. The culprit is ragweed, goldenrod's wind-pollinated distant relative. Ragweed's huge quantities of ultra-light pollen become airborne in the slightest breeze. It travels wherever the wind will carry it, and that's what makes you sneeze. Goldenrod bloom time coincides with ragweed pollen production, and the two occupy the same fields and meadows. Goldenrod is much more noticeable, hence it gets the blame!

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