Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Plant Profile: Stiff Goldenrod
Stiff goldenrod is in peak bloom in the prairies, along with many of its weedy and less desirable goldenrod cousins. The flowers differ in arrangement from other goldenrods, with flat-topped clusters of flowers. They flowers themselves are also quite large for goldenrods -- though they are still very tiny little daisy-like composites. The leaves are stiffer, smaller, stouter and thicker than most other goldenrod species as well. They are attractive to a variety of insects; I see assassin beetles on them pretty frequently. Stiff goldenrod thrives in hard clay and generally not great soil conditions. I've actually heard tell that in really good garden soil with regular watering, the plants will bend over and suffer. My kind of garden plant!
An interesting (to me) note on this and several other goldenrod species... I learned them as Solidago, (Solidago rigida in this case) but apparently, they have been reclassified as Oligoneuron. No idea why. Learning latin names is hard enough without them going and changing on me!