Goldenrod, genus Solidago, showy, perennial, herbaceous plant of the Compositae or Asteraceae family.
Goldenrod, genus Solidago, showy, perennial, herbaceous plant of the Compositae or Asteraceae family. Nearly 100 species have been described, chiefly from N America. Thirty-two species occur in Canada, 6 of which are distributed transcontinentally. Eastern Canada (Ontario to NS) has 11 species, with an additional 6 species found only in southern Ontario (the richest part of Canada for varieties of goldenrod). Goldenrods grow in dry, sterile to moist, rich soils, in prairie and wooded locations, and from the brackish seashore to high mountain elevations. The stems are usually simple, bearing distinctly toothed or lobed leaves. The flower cluster is usually a large, loose plume of several hundred heads, each a small "daisy" - a central mass of small, tubular florets surrounded by radiating, strap-shaped florets. The flowers are yellow and bloom in mid-to-late summer and autumn. The calyx tube, firmly attached to the ovary of individual florets, is crowned by fine hairs that form a parachute at the top of the tiny, dry, ripened fruit and aid in wind dispersal. Goldenrod is wrongly blamed for hay fever caused by ragweed pollen. See also Aboriginal Uses of Plants.