Welcome to the Kentucky Native Plant and Wildlife Blog.

Welcome to the Kentucky Native Plant and Wildlife Blog.
The purpose of this blog is to provide information on using native plants in the landscape, issues related to invasive exotic plants, urban wildlife management, and wildlife damage management. It is my intention that this information will assist you in deciphering the multitude of information circulating around the web and condense in some meaningful method as it relates to Kentucky. In addition, I hope to highlight a native plant that can be used in the landscape.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Plant of the Week: Gray Goldenrod (Solidago nemoralis)

This has to be one of my favorite goldenrods because it only gets about a foot high in poor soils and 2' tall in more fertile soils.  It forms a nice clump and the leaves are grayish-green with bright yellow spikes of typical goldenrod flowers.  It can tolerate sandy, rocky, and clay soils and generally speaking, the poorer the soil, the better the growing conditions for this species because it will die out in Central Kentucky in good, rich, fertile soil.  This is a relatively easy species to grow and has a few potential problems in the garden including spot anthracnose, powdery mildew, rust, and fungal spots when growing in moist conditions (which isn't recommended).  Like most goldenrods, insects absolutely love this plant.  Long-tongued and short-tongued bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, beetles and moths all collect pollen or nectar.  This is an excellent plant for honey bees. Several different moths feed on the foliage and American goldfinches will eat the seeds.  Native Americans used this after it had been boiled to treat jaundice and kidney disorders in addition to using it topically to treat burns and skin ulcers.  The Navajo used the seeds for food and they burned the plant like incense. This species also makes an excellent cut flower or dried flower for various arrangements. Good companion plants would include some of the lavender asters like aromatic, blazing stars, and autumn sage.

1 comment:

  1. There are so many different goldenrods that bloom around me that it's hard to tell one from the other. Your description of this one has sold me, however, and I've already located seeds. I always like Vernonia with the taller goldenrods, but it wouldn't work with a short one, so thanks for the companion plant suggestions.