A perennial plant found on the grounds of Solel Congregation in Mississauga, ON- goldenrod (also known as Solidago) was named in Latin for its ability to heal wounds.
This plant can be found through North America, British Isles, Europe, Asia, and Central + South America. The plant interestingly has a false reputation as an allergen when it produces virtually no pollen.
Features of Goldenrod
- Long wood-like stems
- Stems with wide-spaced spike teeth
- Clustered yellow flowers
- Flower heads are roughly 3mm long each
- Narrow leaves that taper to a point
- No leaf stem
- Small teeth around edge of leaves
- About 1 meter in height
- Found in moist fields, forests, and roadsides in U.S. and Canada
Goldenrod reproduces through the plant’s root, bulbs, stems, and seeds. Because goldenrod has basically no pollen, it cant cause allergic reactions. It is not a wind-pollinated plant. Goldenrod is pollinated by insects. It also has an ability to be easily crossbred with other plants.
Goldenrod is also a food source for pollinators, so spraying goldenrod with pesticides is not advised.
Because its myriad glimmering plumes Like a great army’s stir and wave; Because its golden billows blooms, The poor man’s barren walks to lave: Because its sun-shaped blossoms show How souls receive the light of God, And unto earth give back that glow I thank him for the Goldenrod. — Lucy Larcom
- Haudenosaunee peoples brewed goldenrod into an infusion for when there is no apetite in the morning.
- Meskwaki peoples turned goldenrod into a decoration for children who did not talk or laugh.
- Shuswap peoples added it to baths during childbirth.
- Cherokee peoples used the plant as an infusion to treat symptoms of menstruation.
- Potawatomi peoples used an infusion to treat fevers.
Myth & Lore (England)
- Known as a symbol of encouragement.
- Used as a guiding rod to help find hidden springs of water or hidden gold and silver.
- Must be cut after sunset and before sunrise on certain holidays or the first night of a new moon to be considered a divining rod. The person cutting the rod must be facing East to catch the first rays of sunlight. It is most fitting for a seventh son of a seventh son to be the one who does the divining.
- If it does not catch sun-rays the diving rod is considered useless.
- Goldenrod patches in woods were believed to mark an underground spring.
- Medicinally, goldenrod has been used for over 700 years. However, there are many variations and different species were used for different treatments. It is mainly known to be a diuretic.