Posted: September 20, 2012
It’s hay fever time again, and every fall goldenrod gets a “bum rap” as the source of the pollen that plagues hay fever sufferers. But goldenrod is not the culprit; ragweed is! Ragweed blooms at about the same time as goldenrod, but its tiny greenish flowers are inconspicuous and unnoticed, since its pollen is windborne.
If you look at goldenrod, you’ll see that its flowers are a mecca for bees and other insects, feeding on nectar and gathering pollen as they do so, preparing for winter. Goldenrod is pollinated by insects; its pollen is too heavy and sticky to be windborne, so it cannot be the source of “hay fever” allergens that spread on the wind.
So go ahead, enjoy the sunshiny gold of goldenrod in our meadows and fields. And in the garden, shorter, well-behaved cultivars of goldenrod are a perfect combination with purple asters.