Asters ahead...August 20, 2007
We are rapidly approaching fall, which could easily be associated with the Asteraceae. Formerly called the Compositae or composite family, aster family plants are still often referred to as composites.
So what are the composites? An amazing array of flowers, comprised of two types of flowers, many having that familiar daisy or sunflower look. They have both disc and ray florets. Others in this family have disc florets only- like dandelions and tansy. The final group, remember this is a huge family, is comprised of flowers like goldenrods and liatris.
The Rough-leaf, or Round-leafed Goldenrod, Solidago patula, is found though-out the state, but as a wet meadow or bog plant, it is not as familiar as the well known Canada Goldenrod- the one most commonly seen. Once we find a wetland goldenrod the major distinction of Solidago patula is the edged or winged-looking stem. It is the only goldenrod with this feature.
Goldenrod is just one of the many fall composites that hold up well in a vase of cut flowers. And don't worry about those allergies. Goldenrod has been getting a bum rap for being an allergen, when it is really those nasty Ragweeds, the Ambrosia sp., but that is a whole different story :)