Wildflower Wednesday: Goldenrod

Goldenrod?  In my garden? A prized plant? Ha!

Ten years ago, if someone had suggested to me that one of my most prized perennials would be a goldenrod, I would have laughed.  What foolishness.

Goldenrod, after all, is a fall weed, often found along the roadsides out in the country, "wherever fine weeds grow".

I'm sure glad back then I didn't bet anyone that I'd never plant goldenrod in my garden because guess what?  Now I have a goldenrod, Solidago shortii, in my garden and I include it is on my short list of plants that I would take with me if I ever moved away from May Dreams Gardens.

As noted in a post a few summers back, I received my seedlings of this rare goldenrod thanks to two generous horticulturists at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Brian Jorg and Steve Foltz, who gave them to attendees of the Garden Writers Association Region III meeting in April 2010.

Yes, I did say "rare goldenrod". According to Wikipedia, Solidago shortii is one of the rarest plants in the world.  And it grows in my garden. 

For those who are itching to get this plant for your own garden, it is being propagated and sold as Solidago shortii 'Solar Cascade'. Search online for "goldenrod Solar Cascade" and you'll find at least two nurseries who list it in on their website. Of course, this propagation is being done without disturbing the goldenrod's wild habitat.  You can read more about that on the website of  the Center for Plant Conservation.

You can also see pictures of a large stand of  'Solar Cascade' growing at the Cincinnati Zoo on Foltz's website, PlantPlaces.com.

I moved my goldenrod to the August Dreams Border last spring and it is doing quite well there.
It's one of the highlights of August and beyond, and a worthy wildflower for any garden.

Are you interested in other garden worthy wildflowers?   Visit Gail at Clay and Limestone for other posts about wildflowers on the fourth Wednesday of every month, Wildflower Wednesday.


  1. Personally I've always loved goldenrod; they're like a piece of firework in the late summer garden, and they are so very hardy and easy to grow. (At least the two unnamed species I have.)

    And of course it grew in my Mum's garden, so I have to have it. One of my species comes from her, whereas the other was there when we took over the garden and is the type that grows wild (as an invasive species, sadly) on verges and forest edges around here.

  2. S. shortii is a great selection. This is the second mention of it I've read this fall.

  3. I started out gardening like you, Carol, looking down my nose at things like goldenrod as not belonging in a proper garden bed. Thank goodness I have evolved! Goldenrod is one of the most visited by all pollinators, at the top of the list, in fact. Your shortie is a cutie, congratulations!

  4. I love this goldenrod and will order seeds! I tried all manner of gardening and then realized the treasures I had and could grow in a native plant garden. You're going to love watching this plant greet all the pollinators~Take your camera and capture a few macro shots! xogail

  5. I have Goldenrod growing in my garden. I don't know what kind it is, because it just showed up a couple of years ago. I love it! I have always loved the plant. Mine is just about ready to bloom. I'm looking forward to the blooming.

  6. I don't have the varieties you mention, but I do grow several species of goldenrod and they are wonderful plants. There is even a spot where I let wild field goldenrod grow. Most species are a little aggressive, so you have to keep an eye on them, but they are beautiful and loved by the polinators.

  7. At this time of year, especially in a drought year, Goldenrod is a godsend.

  8. I am planning on planting some goldenrod in my garden this year on the sole reason that voles don't like them! But I also think that they are very pretty. There are very few yellow flowering plants that I don't like!

  9. Heidi/ IN Woodland GardenerWed Aug 22, 07:12:00 PM 2012

    Goldenrod (Tall goldenrod, I think) surrounds our woodland home where the woods meets the yard. It is there naturally with lots of White Snakeroot. I love it when both are in bloom during the waning days of summer and into fall--it is very cheery looking and feeling. The colorful blooms are much appreciated after a long hot summer of just quiet peaceful green.

  10. I used to feel the same way about goldenrod, Carol, but my thinking has changed over the years, too. Of course, the goldenrod in my garden is wild kind that does grow along the roadsides, but I still think it's pretty in the fall. Your "shortii" looks like a real winner; the mass planting of it at the zoo is beautiful!

  11. No rare goldenrods in my garden but my vegetable garden is surrounded by wild goldenrods and I do consider them arrangement worthy when it is my turn to bring church flowers in the fall.

  12. Beautiful photographs, beautiful colourful plants. I am greeting

  13. Great page indeed! I really like reading your blog for it is both entertaining and informative. Nice post!

  14. Beautiful pollinator plant, but the yellow color blends with the white and especially yellow crab spiders that are on many of my pollinator plants to catch bees. Do you see crab spiders on them much?

  15. Hello! I've been reading your blog for a while now and finally got
    the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Atascocita Tx!
    Just wanted to mention keep up the great work!


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