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Use Native Plant Solidago to Attract Pollinators

To choose a pollinator for your garden is not always an easy thing to do.

Well, we have help from the Garden for Wildlife.

Why not choose a native plant?

Each state has its own unique collection of native plants.

The top pick in Massachusetts, for example, is solidago or goldenrod as a flower that attracts pollinators.

Solidago is a coarse, rather weedy herb, belonging to the genus Solidago of the family Asteraceae.

Solidago Virgaurea by Lindsay, Botanical Flowers 1922

There are about 120 known species. They are from the New World with scattered species in Europe and Asia, according to Taylor’s Encyclopedia of Gardening.

They, along with the purple aster, dominate the list of native plants in the Northeast for that wonderful Fall color.

Taylor admits, “While the whole inflorescence is often showy, the plants are little used in the garden out of the more informal borders.”

And now we have a whole new reason to plant them. They attract pollinators to the garden.

They are easy to grow, and will flower if you give them some sun.

Some species spread so fast that they must be watched.

A word about what kind of soil to plant them in is important.

Goldenrod in a Perennial Bed – Courtesy of Garden for Wildlife

Taylor writes, “While they improve with cultivation, the soil should not be too rich, or they will develop more foliage than flowers.” We want the flowers!

Our list of native plants on the local level is the secret to a thriving and sustainable garden.

These amazing specimens are already adapted to your local environment.

They form symbiotic relationships with the wildlife that inhabit the area.

So, not only will your garden be a lush oasis, it will be teeming with life.

According to garden writer David Swift, although several species are grown, it is mainly the hybrids that adorn gardens. These have been developed from the Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis) and the European Solidago virgaurea, also known as the Common Goldenrod.

The solidago in the botianical drawing [above] is s. virgaurea.


Rochester, NY seed company owner James Vick (1818-1882) wrote of Solidago in 1878.

He said, “The Goldren Rod, the special favorites of Autumn.”

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I’ve found that Solidago caesia, or wreath goldenrod, is a clumping type and does not run through the garden like S. canadensis! It also tolerates part shade situations.

    1. HI Priscilla, thanks for the comments, especially about the differences between Solidago caesia and Solidago canadensis.
      You have the experience with this plant and can give an insight like that. That helps all of us. I appreciate it.

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