Canada Goldenrod Seeds (Solidago canadensis)
The Classic Flower of Late Summer Meadows
Few perennials are as long-lived or widely adaptable as Canada goldenrod. From damp, sunny roadside ditches, to windswept coastal bluffs, this cheerful flower forms small (non-invasive) rhizomatous colonies that burst with warm golden color from mid to late summer, a time when most other wildflowers have long since finished blooming. The genetics of goldenrods are complex (and prone to extensive natural hybridization), and as a result there is a lot of variability between different goldenrod populations, even within a single species. Our Canada goldenrod reaches an average of about 3 feet in height, is relatively slow growing, but persists well once established, even among heavy grass competition.
Goldenrod has a well-deserved population as an incredible food source for hugely diverse types of pollinators: leafcutter bees, fascinating (and gentle) solitary wasps, grey hairstreak and American lady butterflies, and it is a host plant for northern checkerspot butterfly (Chlosyne palla).
Additionally, this cheerful and humble plant has numerous valuable uses from goldenrod tea, to the use of the flowers as a dye plant for creating a warm, golden hue in natural fabrics. Goldenrod is also one of our native species with the most tolerance for tough sites such as industrial brownfield and abandoned manufacturing sites, even sites with soils contaminated by nuclear waste and heavy metals. It’s an unassuming survivor, and one worthy of appreciating for its resilience in the face of human abuses.
This sees is extremely difficult to clean, and comes with a certain amount of pappus (fluff) and other seed appendages, so it is most easily handled by sowing into trays for later transplanting, or by mixing it with an inert carrier such as dry peat moss or sand before scattering across a planting area. Once scattered, it can be watered in (or rained on) to work the small fluffy seeds into the soil surface.
Approximately 600 – 1000 seeds (0.3 grams).