Woodland goldenrod September 20, 2007
Goldenrods are probably not the first plants you might think of, if asked to name your favorite flower. But here is one that may make you reconsider your answer. Unlike those other sun-loving Asteraceae (that's our aster family again) which commonly fill fields and roadsides, here is a lovely woodland variety.
This little charmer grows prolifically in my woodlot. Interestingly enough, tonight I noticed it all seems to lean south-east. Growing towards the sun, perhaps? It peaks out of the tree canopy, in waves of dainty blossoms. In Wisconsin it is state-listed as endangered and called Wreath Goldenrod; indeed it would perfectly lend itself to wreath making or head-gear for wee woodland elves.
However, in Ohio we call it by the manly moniker Blue-stemmed Goldenrod, Solidago caesia. Fortunately this one remains a Solidago, so we have no new names to learn. :)
If you look very closely there is also an interesting winged feature in the photo as well. It looks ever so much like a hornet, but I believe it is actually a mimic flower fly. Hopefully some of my insect-savvy friends may be willing to help me out with more information on this fascinating fellow.