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Canada Goldenrod

Common Name: Canada Goldenrod.

Scientific Name: Solidago Canadensis.

What to look for?  As Labor Day approaches, look for tiny, yellow flowers in a pyramid-shaped strand dangling at the tip of a tall stem! In bloom, this is a stunning plant with attractive foliage.  The Canada Goldenrod is a perennial plant with a tall, stout light green central stem. There are as many as ten pairs of compound medium green, elliptic leaves on the stem. At the end of the central stem, numerous backward-curved stalks originate and are arranged more or less horizontally.  A long panicle or cluster of flowers is crowded on each stalk. Each flower has up to fifteen (15) yellow petals. The Canada Goldenrod has an underground creeping rhizomes network which often results in the colonies of this plant that you see around Carillon Stonegate Pond.

Where can they be found at Carillon Stonegate Pond? You can find colonies of Canada Goldenrod scattered around the upper banks along Carillon Stonegate Pond and the fields adjacent to the woodlands.

How big are they? Canada Goldenrod stands approximately four to six feet tall. Their leaves can be up to six inches long and one inch across. And each of the many, tiny flowers on a cluster is less than one-fourth of one inch in diameter.

Where do they grow and thrive? Canada Goldenrod is found across most of the U.S., except the southeast, and is widely distributed throughout Illinois. Natural habitats of this wildflower include moist to dry prairies, openings in both floodplain and upland forests, thickets, savannas, and limestone glades. Canada Goldenrod thrive in full sunshine!

When do they bloom? The blooming period for Canada Goldenrod occurs from late summer into the fall – late August into November.

Do birds, insects or other wildlife associate with this plant? The flowers of the Canada Goldenrod are primarily attractive to a variety of bees, wasps, flies, beetles, and some butterflies and moths. Some Goldfinches and Sparrows eat the seeds.

Interesting Facts About the Canada Goldenrod:

  • Goldenrods are often blamed for causing hay fever because they flower during allergy season. However, the true culprits are ragweeds!

  • The genus ‘Solidago’ includes approximately 100 species of goldenrods that are mostly native to North America.

  • 'Solidago' was taken from the Latin 'solidus' meaning 'whole' and likely referring to the supposed healing properties of this genus.

  • Canada Goldenrod is one of several North American Goldenrod species that have been introduced in Europe and become invasive there.

  • Sometimes beavers and muskrats use the stems in their dams or dens.

For more information on Canada Goldenrod and sources of information used in this blog (these are several of the sources that I am using to learn as I blog), please visit Illinois Wildflowers, University of Texas Wildflower Center, Minnesota Wildflowers and Missouri Botanical Garden.

The Carillon at Stonegate community is very fortunate to have a variety of wetland, forest and prairie environments conducive to a variety of birds and other wildlife, insects and plants. Our community and the Kane County Forest Preserve do an exceptional job in maintaining this natural environment – both for the benefit of the birds and wildlife and for our residents to enjoy.


Take a hike and see what you can find – and identify!

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