It’s allergy season for many Seattle area residents. The synchronized blooming of goldenrod leads most people to blame this attractive wildflower for runny noses and itchy, watery eyes. However, very few people have reactions to goldenrod. Other, less-showy plants that are blooming concurrently with goldenrod most likely cause those hay fever symptoms.
While there is more than one type of goldenrod native to the northwest, the most common type is Canada goldenrod, which is also known as meadow goldenrod. The scientific name is Solidago Canadensis. Solidago comes from the Latin solidus (meaning ‘whole’) and ago (meaning ‘to make’). This is in reference to the plants medicinal qualities.
Goldenrod seeds are edible as a survival food. The leaves can be made into tea, which was a common practice during the American Revolution when taxes on English tea were high.
Goldenrod flowers are great for craft projects. Simply cut, hang upside down to dry, and spray with a light coat of hairspray to help keep the inflorescence intact. Add the flowers to dried arrangements or wreaths.
This member of the aster family blooms in late summer to early autumn. Canada goldenrod is a perennial that grows up to five feet tall with large plumes of tiny yellow flowers.