Showy Goldenrod, true to its name, is one of the showiest of its genus. Masses of tiny yellow flowers form dense, pyramidal clusters atop single, smooth, reddish stems from September – November, brightening the fall garden. Goldenrods are our most important native perennial, hosting the most species of Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies), plus providing important late season nectar and pollen. Because it’s not as aggressive as some goldenrods, it’s as suitable to perennial borders as it is to naturalized areas. Showy goldenrod is listed as a threatened species in Ohio.
Grows 3-6’ tall and has a spread of 1-2'.
Prefers full to part sun.
Grows best in moist soil but tolerates dry, rocky, or clay soil once established.
Narrow, lance-shaped leaves are green to greenish red; basal leaves are larger than upper leaves.
Showy goldenrod is found in open woods, fields, and prairies.
122 butterflies and moths use goldenrods as a caterpillar host plant, including wavy-lined emerald moth, brown-hooded owlet moth, and asteroid moth. Attracts numerous species of lepidoptera, including monarchs as they prepare for migration. Its showy blooms support honey bees and native bees, including andrena bees, perdita bees (rare), long-horned bees, spine-shouldered cellophane bees, and goldenrod cellophane bees. Songbirds eat the seeds. Goldenrods’ abundant pollinators increase biodiversity by attracting numerous predators, including praying mantis, assassin bugs, and spiders.
Medicinal and Edible Uses:
The leaves, flowers, and roots were used by Native Americans for various disorders, such as fevers, colds, ulcers, and boils. A decoction from pulverized roots was used to treat lung ailments. Another root decoction helped women with difficult childbirth labor.
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