Wild Weeds – Weed of the Month
Goldenrod is a late summer, early fall blooming plant. The spectacular show of yellow blooms along the roadways allow this plant to be easily identified, and often mistake as the cause of fall allergies. Goldenrod pollen is heavy and sticky, therefore the wind can only carry it a short distance from the plant, these species are generally pollinated by insects. Ragweed on the other hand has lightweight pollen that is easily carried by the wind, causing majority of fall allergy issues.
Not only is it beautiful, and a Florida native, it also serves an abundance of ecological functions. Goldenrod is a crucial late season food for bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects. There are over a hundred species of Goldenrod, many of which can be found in Florida, if you see one, try getting a closer look and see if you can’t narrow down which species it is. There are also some ornamental varieties of goldenrod available for the home landscape & garden, in fact Thomas Edison was an influencer in breeding goldenrod for rubber production which led to some of the options available today. Some species you may find in the natural areas of Florida are flat-top, tall, common, giant, and more.
Wild Weeds is a monthly spotlight written by Alicia Halbritter, Baker County Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent. Wild Weeds highlights weeds you may find in Florida on the roadside, while hiking, in the forest, or possibly even in your yard. Searching for more information on a particular plant? Email Alicia at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information/questions.