วันเสาร์ที่ 13 กันยายน พ.ศ. 2551

Goldenrod and Aster Blooming in Autumn

Native Plants Attract Late Season Pollinators to Wildflower Gardens



Goldenrod and aster will continue to attract late season pollinators to wildflower gardens. The yellows and purples of these native plants are perfect autumn colors.
Solidago, commonly called goldenrod, and Aster, known botanically and generally by the same name, are from the botanical family of Asteraceae.

Goldenrod and Aster Native Plants
Each of these plants has some similar characteristics because they:
  • Grow in full sun.
  • Bloom in midsummer to late fall.
  • Grow tall, between 4 – 6 feet.
  • Attract bees and butterflies.
  • Resist deer foraging.


Goldenrod and aster plants have cultivars that are shorter and appear more refined than their species. Each of these plants has a unique appearance and tolerates slightly different culture.
Growing Aster Plants
The most well known, Aster novae-angliae, New England aster is just one of many species. The Aster novi-belgii, New York aster, is shorter. They have violet purple flowers 2” across with a yellow center. One of the most popular cultivars of the New England aster is ‘Purple Dome.’ Most aster plants are hardy in zones 4-8.
Asters prefer well draining soils amended with rich organic matter. They do like regular watering but not soggy roots.
Asters are plagued with powdery mildew issues. When planting asters, spacing them well apart, is necessary for good air circulation. Pinching the stems encourages them to grow more compact; very tall plants will need staking. Gardeners should plan to dig and divide these plants every two years.
Growing Goldenrod
Goldenrod has many small yellow flower heads on large panicles attached to recurving branches. The leaves are long and narrow with toothed margins. Once plants are established goldenrod will tolerate dry soils. They do not appreciate rich soils.
There are cultivars of goldenrod, shorter than the species. To control height in the taller varieties, plants can be pruned late May through early June. Goldenrod grows in clump form or by rhizomes. The clump form should be divided every four years. Rhizome plants spread under ground and can cause problems for manicured landscapes.
Sometimes allergy sufferers confuse Ambrosia ragweed, the cause of hay fever, with goldenrod. But bees and butterflies pollinate goldenrod by moving from plant to plant; ragweed is pollinated by the wind blowing the pollen into the air.
Goldenrod is a very hardy plant, tolerating zones 2 – 8. Its winter interest is an added value for northern gardeners.


Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide Book
Goldenrod is an indicator plant for some gardeners who chart a plant phenology. Phenology is the study of the life cycle phases of plants and animals related to climate.
An excellent guidebook to identify wildflowers found in the northeastern and north-central areas of North America is Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide. This pocket size guidebook has an easy to use plant key to identify plants out in a field or at a wildflower botanical garden.


The copyright of the article Goldenrod and Aster Blooming in Autumn in Wildflower Gardens is owned by Christine Eirschele. Permission to republish Goldenrod and Aster Blooming in Autumn in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.

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