Feb 02 2011

Winter Weeds: Goldenrod

Published by at 7:30 am under Quiz,Winter Weeds & Trees


If you recognize this flower in August it also looks familiar at this time of year.

Tall or Canada Goldenrod is a native perennial that maintains its shape, even in winter.  It still stands two to six feet tall, it still carries alternate leaves on a rough stem and it still holds up a plume-like spire where the flowers used to be.  The spire was a dense cluster of golden flowers in August.  Now it’s a dense cluster of seeds.

You’ll find goldenrod in open areas, often in large patches because the rhizomes (roots) spread underground.

Goldenrod species are notoriously difficult to identify.  I listed two names for this plant because I’m not sure which one it is.  It might be Tall Goldenrod, maybe Canada Goldenrod, maybe something else.  It doesn’t matter.  My excuse is that the plant isn’t in good condition. 

And here’s a Quiz:  Can you identify the tall plant on the left edge of this photo?  I discussed it in an earlier Winter Weeds blog.  Remember?

p.s. Today is Groundhog Day.  Check here for news from Punxsutawney Phil.  Rumor has it he did not see his shadow so Spring is near.

(photo by Marcy Cunkelman)

11 responses so far

11 Responses to “Winter Weeds: Goldenrod”

  1. Donnaon 02 Feb 2011 at 7:47 am

    I see Queen Anne’s Lace in the upper left. And great news from Phil!

  2. kat walterson 02 Feb 2011 at 7:58 am

    Queen Anne’s Lace. We use it in floral designs, just not the wild stuff.

  3. sharon leadbitteron 02 Feb 2011 at 8:04 am

    Isn’t that Queen Anne’s Lace?

  4. Anne Marieon 02 Feb 2011 at 8:16 am

    Queen Anne’s lace? I’m too lazy to go back and look, but that’s my guess….

  5. Mary Ann Pikeon 02 Feb 2011 at 8:47 am

    Plant on the left is Queen Anne’s Lace.

  6. Kate St. Johnon 02 Feb 2011 at 9:14 am

    Ta dah! It’s Queen Anne’s Lace.

  7. Marianneon 02 Feb 2011 at 9:34 am

    Everyone beat me to it! There is lots of Goldenrod and Queen Anne’s Lace at my “farm.” I hope the birds like their seeds. Dh didn’t mow very much this year :-), so now there are even more weed seeds for the birds. That is a good trend.

    I left my pampas grass up also. Do the birds like those seeds?

    I hope so, because the pampas grass is going to be a big mess (but worth it if the birds like its seeds) to cut back and clean up in the spring. (which will be early, if Punxsy Phil is correct)

  8. kellyon 02 Feb 2011 at 9:45 am

    regarding goldenrod: the three orange-crowned warblers i’ve seen this winter were all foraging on goldenrod on sand dunes (i live at the jersey shore). the goldenrod i speak of looks similar to the type in these photos. i’m not sure if orange-crowned warblers would pick the same plants to forage on in inland areas, but it might be worth some investigating if you see a stand of goldenrod out in the field.

  9. kellyon 02 Feb 2011 at 9:57 am

    ps…here’s a photo a fellow birder from your home state took of one of two “new year” orange-crown warblers on goldenrod.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/forktail/5349002328/

  10. faith cornellon 02 Feb 2011 at 5:23 pm

    In the winter the weeds become stars in their own right. Everything has a purpose and nature certainly takes care of the feeding in the winter. Sort of keeps thing in tune I guess.

  11. Barb Simonon 03 Feb 2011 at 4:21 pm

    definitely Queen Anne’s Lace which is a wild carrot and smells just like carrots, too. Try it sometime. The root is a small white carrot.

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