Early Goldenrod

Common Name: Early Goldenrod.

Scientific Name: Solidago Juncea.

What to look for?  Golden yellow strands of tiny flowers! Somewhat weedy look. The Early Goldenrod is a perennial plant with a green or reddish central stem. The alternate leaves are narrowly ovate and green and become smaller as they ascend up the stem. The flowery inflorescence droops at the top of the plant and consists of a panicle of flowering stems that have numerous yellow composite flowers. The up to a dozen ray florets are often unevenly spaced and do not open at the same time. The flowers of the Early Goldenrod may have a mild fragrance.

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

How big are they? Early Goldenrods are approximately three feet tall. Their eaves can be up to six inches long and one and one-half inches across, And each of the many flowers on a cluster is approximately one-fourth of an inch in length.

Where do they grow and thrive? The Early Goldenrod is found across the continental U.S. and is widely distributed throughout Illinois. The Early Goldenrod occurs in various prairies, oak savannas, thickets, open areas of rocky upland woods, sunny waste areas, and abandoned fields. It is the earliest goldenrod to bloom in these habitats in Illinois.

When do they bloom? The blooming period for Early Goldenrods occurs in late summer from June through August.

Do birds, insects or other wildlife associate with this plant? The flowers of the Early Goldenrod attract many kinds of insects, including bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, moths, and beetles. The larvae of several species of moths feed on various parts of this and other goldenrods.

Interesting Facts About the Early Goldenrod:

  • As its common name suggests, the Early Goldenrod begins flowering earlier than just about all others, as early as mid to late June.

  • Early Goldenrods and other goldenrods have been wrongly accused of causing hay fever which is actually an allergic reaction to wind-borne pollen from other plants such as ragweed.

  • Genus name comes from two Latin words “solidus” meaning whole, and “ago” meaning to make in reference to the medicinal healing properties of some species plants.

For more information on the Early 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, Missouri Botanical Gardens and Minnesota Wildflowers.

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!