Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Canada Goldenrod

A Young Plant Just Beginning to Bloom

A Plant at the End of its Flowering

Some Plants that Have Gone to Seed

There are at least two species of goldenrod commonly referred two as Canada goldenrod, but the one growing in the field in back of my house is Solidago altissima. How do I know? Well, it wasn't easy to ID it because there are a lot of species of goldenrod in my area, and a lot of them are similar, but between a careful examination of the stem, leaves, flowers, and height of the plants, I feel that I have made a positive ID.

Canada goldenrod is native to my area and most of the rest of the United States and Canada with the exception of the Northwest U.S., the far west of Canada, and the Arctic regions. Unfortunately it has also spread to Europe and Asia where it is considered an invasive weed.

Here are a couple of interesting facts about Canada goldenrod. It contains rubber! Thomas Edison did a lot of research on using goldenrod for rubber and even had a Model T Ford with rubber tires made from goldenrod. It is also the state flower of Kentucky and Nebraska.

1. poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)
2. red maple (Acer rubrum)
3. Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
4. staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina)
5. common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
6. New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)
7. Canada goldenrod (Solidago altissima)