More Information About Solidago
Goldenrod is widely known as a medicinal plant used to treat dozens of ailments including inflammation (UTIs, sore throats, eczema), as a diuretic (and for kidney stones) and also to reduce pain and speed the healing of wounds (hence the alternative name woundwort). The herbal medicine community has used goldenrod for hundreds of years, learning about its medicinal potential from native americans. Little do they know that this popular herbal medicine is a great garden plant.
Goldenrod is also commonly used as a tea (tisane), especially the anise-scented leaves of S. odora which is called blue mountain tea. Goldenrod was also one of the featured ingredients in Liberty Tea, an herbal mix of US native plants used as a local tea substitute after the Boston Tea Party. And the edible flower petals and young leaves can be used in the kitchen too in salads, soups, etc,. Dyers also use goldenrod, extracting yellow pigments from the flowers for wool and silk textiles.
In the US, where goldenrod is native, it is a ubiquitous roadside plant that grows in the toughest conditions...from cracks in the asphalt, on compacted shoulders and at abandoned building sites. One of the first signs that nature is taking back territory from encroaching humans is the arrival of the goldenrods. That should begin to tell you just how tough and adaptable this yellow-flowered perennial is. Most Americans scoff at the thought of using goldenrod in the garden because the roadside specimens they see are scraggly and unkempt. But a garden planting of goldenrod is a beautiful thing...a low spreading subshrub with feathery yellow flowers. Our neighbors in Europe tend to give goldenrod the respect that it is due, tending it widely in their gardens and selecting superior cultivars to sell back to us.
Solidago species have long been dismissed as garden subjects due to the misconception that they caused hay fever. This myth was in fact a carefully orchestrated smear campaign funded by the real culprit, The National Ragweed Association. Luckily, the Anti-Goldenrod Defamation League is on the case to try and get more people to buy solidago.
There are both good and bad goldenrods. Our native Solidago canadensis has been declared a noxious weed in many countries for its aggressive running habit. Other native solidago species (S. rugosa, S. stricta and others) are much better behaved and have been hybridized in Europe for decades for the cut flower market. We offer several goldenrods for sale that we have found to make superb, drought-tolerant, easy-to-grow, non-aggressive perennial wildflowers and butterfly / hummingbird attractants.
Solidago is the state flower of Kentucky, Nebraska, and South Carolina. With that kind of political endorsement, surely your garden deserves a goldenrod plant as well. Try pairing your goldenrod plant with other U.S. state flowers that we sell like myosotis, aquilegia, coreopsis, viola, paeonia, iris, rudbeckia, cypripedium, dianthus, yucca, trillium, and gaillardia for a patriotic garden display.