Weathered by the salt and sun, the proud harbinger of fall stands next to the sea near Peggy's Cove. This Seaside Goldenrod, Solidago sempervirens has a rather thick and succulent leaf, adapted to withstand the drying salts from sea spray. Found throughout New England and the Canadian coasts, Seaside Goldenrod is just one of the many of the genus Solidago. Peterson's guide lists 33, and there are many more to be found at the USDA plant data base.
Goldenrod, as familiar to Ohioan as pumpkins and corn, is not to be over looked. A close study of the golden glow found along roadsides, barrens and wastelands can turn up many interesting forms: elm-leaved, grass-leaved, zigzag, and silver rod, to name a few.
Often falsely scorned as the source for allergens, the most despised ragweed or Ambrosia sp. is the true culprit here. Goldenrod is a noble plant which Thomas Edison revealed as a possible source for a native rubber supply, making this much ignored species far more interesting than one might imagine.
Let's get out to do a little botanizing this weekend and start celebrating fall and the glow of goldenrods!