The goldenrod plant is the common name for Solidago flowers, a hardy edible perennial that’s invasive in some areas. The honey and nectar produced by goldenrod are popular food sources for bees. “Feel better” is the most common goldenrod flower meaning. Keep reading to learn about this cheerful bloom.
About the Goldenrod Flower
You may be asking yourself, what is a golden rod flower? Goldenrod is one name for the plant Solidago. These herbaceous perennial flowers are one of over 100 species in the Solidago genus, belonging to the family Asteraceae.
The genus name comes from Solido – how you say “to save,” “to heal,” or “to make whole,” referring to the plant’s medicinal properties.
These plants grow in USDA hardiness zones 3-9, blooming from summer to fall. Most plants in the Solidago genus have striking similarities that make many look almost identical to each other.
Common and Scientific Names
You may hear this plant called by numerous names, including goldenrod, or the goldenrod scientific name, Solidago,
Short’s Goldenrod – S. shortii – is a rare, endangered species only found growing in two areas in Indiana and Kentucky. Another species is the Canadian Goldenrod – S. Canadensis. And the Fireworks Goldenrod goes by Solidago rugosa. Then there’s Golden Glory, Romantic Glory, and Carzan Glory.
In French, it’s called the “verge d or’,” while in German, it’s “Goldrute.” The white Goldenrod flower goes by the name Solidago bicolor or white goldenrod. Solidago odora – anise-scented Goldenrod – is the most popular strain for making tea.
Solidago flowers love the sun and have slender long spiky stems that support thick clusters of tiny yellow flowers. The main golden rod color is yellow, although some types of goldenrod may be white.
What is a golden rod size potential? Your Solidago plants may only be a few inches tall, depending on the species. Or it could dominate your space and tower up to six feet in the air.
How to Care
Goldenrod has minimal maintenance needs once put in the ground. You can get gorgeous blooms without doing any fertilizing or tending. And they have low watering needs.
And because the plants have stiff stems, you won’t need to stake the flowers to keep them upright during high winds.
The best way to know how to harvest goldenrod at the right time is to cut them at the right time. You’ll want to wait until most of the flowers are in the middle of budding to give you the longest use. Once the flowers are opened into a spray, they form into seedheads within a day.
After you’ve harvested goldenrod, it requires hydration to stay as a viable cut flower decor. Keep bouquets in cold areas away from direct light.
When picking a plant location, you may want to consider factors like allergies, insects, and the proximity to your home. Some species of Goldenrod are genetically altered to be nonallergenic.
Goldenrod flowers require partial to full sun, allowing them to grow in the summer rapidly. Cultivated plants will need well-draining soil, while wild variants can tolerate rocky dirt. They do best in acidic to neutral soil pH.
Allowing the seeds to drop onto the ground can result in these plants reseeding and spreading. You can get rid of unwanted plants by digging or weeding them out. Goldenrod can grow up to 6 feet tall, which should be considered when deciding where to plant.
There are multiple uses for goldenrod. All Goldenrod varieties are nutritious when consumed. You can add the leaves and flowers for salads and teas, blanch, make them into soup, or cook.
This plant is quite popular for goldenrod medicinal uses for treating ailments like skin conditions, healing wounds, gout, tuberculosis, hemorrhoids, diabetes, arthritis, and asthma.
Other uses include as an ingredient to make fertilizers and compost, or when planted in fields by farmers, they can help produce maximum crop development.
But what is goldenrod used for besides these things? Some companies in North America are trying to use flowers for candy, gum, and deodorants.
The bright yellow color of the flowers also makes it an excellent source for making yellow dye. You can create a rich pigmented stain in Asia and America by fermenting and extracting the golden flowers.
Goldenflowers can also produce 12% rubber (by weight), as discovered by Thomas Edison. The first rubber tires used on a Ford Model-T came from raw material made by these flowers.
And the beautiful golden color and ease of finding them growing wild globally make these plants popular for floral arrangements and bouquets. In addition, you benefit from cut flowers that stay fresh for days to weeks, retaining their’ bright, shiny look.
What Do Goldenrods Symbolize
The Goldenrod meaning is typically positive. There is even some belief that having these flowers around can reduce depression.
The bright, cheerful color of Goldenrod blooms represents growth and encouragement. Therefore, they are often used to demonstrate support or condolences after a difficult time or loss.
Goldenrod flowers are also symbolic of personal growth. Use it to celebrate good news and new ventures. Or to inspire good thoughts and promote a positive mood, giving the recipient creativity and good fortune.
It’s also believed that these flowers can work as a good luck charm. You can add cut flowers in a bouquet to wish fortune or good luck to another person. Or you can mix it with an arrangement of other flowers, also meaning good luck.
In China, it’s believed these flowers grow around treasure, giving them associations of wealth and royalty. Many Chinese homes have goldenrod growing around the house to bless the family and gift the plant as a home warming gift to others.
Nebraska and Kentucky State Flower
Delaware lists Goldenrod as the state herb, while South Carolina adopted the tall goldenrod as its state wildflower in 2003. It’s also the state flower for Nebraska (1895) and Kentucky (1923 influenced by women organizations).
Goldenrod Color Meaning
The Golden rod flower can also have varying meanings based on color. For example, the golden yellow color can mean prosperity and wealth. But it can also mean warmth, peace, hope, and happiness.
White Goldenrod flowers produce poisonous leaves and berries, making it less common as a gift. The main meaning of this color is positivity and support. White is the only other color of Goldenrod flowers.
A yellow Goldenrod represents inspiration in life and creativity. The bright pops of color serve well as an arrangement to encourage or congratulate an artistic path. You can also use yellow Solidago flowers with other positive, creative yellows.
Interesting Goldenrod Facts
The Latin name Solidago is from Latin words solid (heal) and ago (to make). As part of the Asteraceae family, Goldenrod is a relative of sunflowers and has a faint licorice smell.
Tea made from Goldenrod flowers was ‘Liberty tea” and was the only tea option during the British taxation.
Some species of Goldenrod produce honey, while others make nectar that can serve as medicinal herbs. Or to attract pollinators like bees, butterflies, and birds, which help the flowers cross-pollinate.
Depending on its location and species, the Goldenrod can be an elegant landscaping flower, an attractive cut floral arrangement, a critically endangered species, or an invasive pain.
Goldenrod tattoos are a trending design for younger generations.
Goldenrod Frequently Asked Questions
Spend a few minutes checking out these frequently asked questions if you want to know more about the Goldenrod flower.
Do Goldenrods Cause Allergies?
There is the mistaken belief that Goldenrod flowers cause allergies. But the truth is that these plants do not produce pollen carried by air. Therefore, they are non-allergenic. On the other hand, the Ragweed is a highly allergenic plant frequently confused with the Goldenrod due to shared traits.
When Is the Best Time to Give Someone Goldenrod Flowers?
Goldenrod flowers make an excellent gift to boost someone’s mood or celebrate new beginnings, like after a funeral, graduation, new job, wedding, new home, birthday, or the birth of a child. You can also gift it to someone experiencing depression, someone creative, or someone dealing with loss.
How Did the Goldenrod Get Its Name?
The name Goldenrod comes from the flower’s sturdy straight stalk that acts as a rod to tower the golden yellow flowers high off the ground.
What Time of Year Do Goldenrods Bloom?
Goldenrods are one of the last colored flowers to bloom, showing their beautiful golden off from summer to fall.
Are Goldenrods Toxic if Ingested?
Goldenrod variants native to North America are non-toxic and provide nutritional benefits when eaten. However, some invasive species from China can contain toxic leaves and berries that should not be ingested.
The Bottom Line
You can choose the understated bold beauty of gold Solidago flowers for many occasions or symbolize many different meanings. So whether you want to wish someone good fortune and luck, new beginnings, or lift them out of a depression and make them feel better, Goldenrod flowers can be just the ticket.