Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Georgia’s Native Plants – The Solidagos

These six Solidagos are native to the state of Georgia. While Solidago was once mistakenly believed to be the cause of hay fever, we now know that isn’t the case. This beautiful blooming plant can decorate any Georgia yard without the fear of sneezing.

Solidago caesia L. (Blue-stemmed Goldenrod, Wreath Goldenrod)
Blue-stemmed goldenrod grows one to three feet high. Stems are slender and purple-tinted with narrow dark green leaves. Flowers are in clusters, yellow, and arch in a spray. They bloom August through October. Blue-stemmed goldenrod prefers sun or partial shade in dry soils. It may be propagated by seed. Birds and butterflies are attracted to this perennial.

Solidago nemoralis Ait. (Gray Goldenrod, Old Field Goldenrod, Prairie Goldenrod)
Gray goldenrod grows one-and-a-half to two feet high with coarse-toothed leaves and hairy stalks. Flowers are vase-like and in clusters. Yellow plumes bloom June through October. This variety prefers any lighting and dry sandy or rocky soils. Propagate by seed. It has a moderate resistance to deer foraging and is attractive to butterflies.

Solidago odora Ait. (Sweet Goldenrod, Anise-scented Goldenrod)
Growing two to five feet high, sweet goldenrod has a pleasant anise scent. It has yellow flower heads in clusters on arched branches.  Blooms occur from July through October. Sweet goldenrod prefers sun and moist acidic soils.  Propagate by seed or by clump division.  Leaves can be made into a tea.

Solidago rugosa P. Mill. (Wrinkleleaf Goldenrod)
This flower gets up to two to three feet high and needs 18 to 24 inch spacing. It prefers full sun and needs acidic to mildly alkaline soil that is well-drained. Its gold flowers arrive in September. It has graceful arching spikes of flowers and late season color. This is a great choice for some unique texture and movement in your garden. You can sow seed or do stem tip cuttings to propagate.

Solidago sempervirens L. (Seaside Goldenrod)
A member of the Aster family, seaside goldenrod grows two to eight feet high.  Evergreen basal leaves are in a tight clump form while deep yellow flowers are in arching branches. Flowers bloom August through October. It prefers sunny spots and moist sandy soils. Seaside goldenrod attracts birds and is resistant to salt spray.

Solidago speciosa Nutt. (Showy Goldenrod)
Growing one to five feet high, showy goldenrod has red-tinted stems and small yellow flowers in a column. Blooms arrive in August and September. It prefers partial shade and moist rocky or clay soil. Moist soils can make this Solidago a bit aggressive. Propagate by seed collected in October or by division. Said to be the showiest of all of the Solidago species.

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