Goldenrod, Canadian

Goldenrod in flower (Solidago canadensis)
Introduced as an ornamental plant, Canadian Goldenrod is now a very common sight in England. The plant has beautiful yellow flowers and has been used in traditional medicine for all sorts of health treatments.

Table of Contents

Goldenrod: Plant Profile

Common names

Canadian Goldenrod, Canada Goldenrod, Golden Rod

Botanical name

Solidago canadensis

Plant Family

Asteraceae (Daisy)

Distribution

Native to north-eastern and north-central North America. Invasive plant in many parts of Europe, Japan and China. Widespread in England, less so in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland..

Where to find Goldenrod

Wasteland, grassland, roadsides, riverbanks and canalsides.

When to find Goldenrod

Leaves spring and blossom late summer.

How to identify Goldenrod

Herbaceous perennial growing upright up to 1 m. The leaves are often prominently toothed. The flowers are composed of tiny yellow rays arranged into small heads of branched pyramidal shaped inflorescences. Goldenrod often forms colonies, as it’s reproduced by rhyzomes.

Goldenrod lookalikes

Different species of Goldenrod (Solidago sp.) can be difficult to distinguish to the untrained eye, as they all have very similar bright yellow flower heads and hybridise in the wild. European Goldenrod (Solidago virgurea) is native to the UK.

It might resemble Mullein (Verbascum sp.) from afar, but flowers are much bigger than those of Goldenrod. Woodruff (Gallium odoratum) flowers are very similar, but the leaves are completely different.

Goldenrod in urban area (Solidago canadensis)

All about Goldenrod

Introduced as an ornamental plant from North America, Canadian Goldenrod is now widely naturalised in England, as the plant rampantly spreads into vast carpets on riverbanks and hedgerows alike. There is also a native European Goldenrod (Solidago virguarea),  which is common and widespread throughout Britain and Ireland.

Goldenrod goes unnoticed most time of the year among the green grasses until it displays beautiful yellow pyramid clustered flowers on late summer, highly attractive to bees and butterflies.

Medicinal properties of Goldenrod

Leaves and flowers have been used in folk medicine for all sorts of conditions. Some of the medicinal properties attributed to Goldenrod are analgesic, antiseptic astringent, diuretic and febrifuge. The root is applied as a poultice to burns

Culinary use and recipes with Goldenrod

There is not much you can do with Goldenrod, but flowers might look good for presentation purposes.

A medicinal tea can be made from the flowers and the leaves.

Goldenrod in urban area (Solidago canadensis)

Safe foraging of Goldenrod

There isn’t enough conclusive research on the safe use of Goldenrod. Avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding.

Ecological importance of Goldenrod

It is an important food source for pollinating insects such as honeybees, bumblebees and some butterflies.

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Alvaro Docio

Alvaro Docio

I am the person behind British Local Food. As a forager and wild food educator, my aim is to inspire you to go outdoors, familiarise with your local plants and make the best of their culinary and medicinal properties, in the hope you'd pass on any knowledge gained down to the next generation.

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