Plain Gardening: Goldenrod

This is the season for goldenrod, a beautiful plant that once was Alabama’s state flower.  Goldenrod looks like a plant that would be a terrible allergen, but Gardening expert Bill Finch says that would impugn goldenrod’s good name.

I can support that statement because my nose was mere inches from a large and lovely goldenrod without the least hint of allergy.  Bill says the proof is actually in the plant’s showiness.  When plants are beautiful the purpose is to attract insects and birds, because—and here’s the important part—the pollen is too heavy to be carried by the wind.  It’s not airborne.

Even if you put your nose to the goldenrod flower and sniff, you still won’t get any pollen because it’s stuck way down in the bloom, where only the birds and insects can get at it.

Bill says this is a basic rule of plants: if a plant is really showy, its pollen won’t be airborne.  It’s too heavy to go up your nose unless it’s carried there by an insect…in which case you have a bigger problem.

So goldenrod is a great plant to have in your yard.  Learn more about it on Bill’s radio show Sunday mornings from 9-11 on 106.5FM or email

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