Three years ago- has it been that long?- I looked at Goldenrod as a common autumn wildflower. I alluded to the fact that there were different species of Goldenrod, but didn’t delve too deeply into identifying them…now’s the time to remedy that!
Goldenrod seems to have peaked last week here in central Ohio. There’s a lot of it to see out there along the roadsides, in fields, and along wood edges. Just seeing a wash of yellow doesn’t mean there aren’t different types to identify. I thought I’d point out the 4 most recognizable (to me) types of Goldenrod that I see.
Canada Goldenrod is probably the ‘classic’ best-known Goldenrod species. It is common, typically grows in colonies, and is easily identified by its large blooms that radiate outwards from the top of the plant in a busy branching manner.
Gray Goldenrod is a smaller Goldenrod species, typically with a small number of blooming branches.
Flat-Topped Goldenrod has more dispersed blooms set in a bushy manner- this plant often prefers wet areas to grow in.
Stiff Goldenrod is very distinctive. Its blooms cluster at the top of the plant, not spreading out. Its leaves are short and stubby, with a rubbery texture.
All of these Goldenrods can be seen out in open sunny areas right now. Next week we’ll take a look at some different Goldenrods that strangely enough like to hide in the woods.