Solidago speciosa, also known as Showy Goldenrod, is a native perennial forb (wildflower) that grows to about 4 feet tall. It typically occurs in dry soils in open woods, fields and prairies and provides a lovely pop of color in the fall when many other wildflowers have faded away. Goldenrods have been wrongly accused of causing hay fever which is actually an allergic reaction to wind-borne pollen from other plants such as ragweed. Some people have found that tea made from the flowers and leaves of Goldenrod actually helps relieve allergies. It tastes good too!
The flowers attract honeybees, bumblebees, ants, beetles, and the occasional moth or butterfly (the Monarch butterfly in particular is very fond of its blooms). To a limited extent, the seeds are eaten by the Eastern Goldfinch and the Greater Prairie Chicken. Deer, rabbits, groundhogs occasionally eat the leaves, stems, and flowers.
Livestock will occasionally eat the leaves, stems and flowers.
When this plant is infected by a fungus (Coleosporium sp.), it can cause sickness and death in cattle and horses. Like other goldenrods, it may contain a hemolytic agent that is mildly poisonous to some herbivores.
It is easy to grow and low maintenance. Does well in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates poor, dry soils. Remove spent flower clusters to encourage additional bloom. Provides good color and contrast in late summer for the perennial border, wild garden, prairie, meadow, native plant garden or naturalized area.
Habitats include mesic to slightly dry black soil prairies, sand prairies, openings in rocky upland forests, Black Oak savannas, thickets, woodland borders, and abandoned fields.
Showy Goldenrod is featured in several of our mixes including: Butterfly and Hummingbird, Dry’n Rocky, Prairie Patchwork, Shadows and Sunbeams, and Wet Meadow.
Videos About This Plant
To learn more about this plant, check out our videos about it and its uses.