Goldenrod (Solidago sp.)

An orange and black butterfly rests on a golden flower.
A monarch butterfly nectars on a goldenrod at Pilot Knob.

NPS/Gordon Dietzman

Prairie Home

Introduction

Goldenrod has bright yellow-gold flowers and grows to be 2 to 4 feet tall. It prefers dry to mesic conditions. There are several varieties of goldenrod in our park all of which attract a variety of wildlife. It is an excellent autumn nectaring source for wasps, bees, beetles, and butterflies. It is often a very good place to also search for pollinator predators, such as jagged ambush bugs and crab spiders.

Goldenrod is often blamed for autumn allergies as it blooms about the time that ragweed is blossoming, but it is the ragweed with its tiny green flowers that should be blamed. Brightly-colored flowers, like goldenrod, rely on insects to spread pollen while dull, non-descript flowers, such as those on ragweed, use wind pollination to spread their pollen. For this strategy to be effective ragweed produces prodigious amounts of pollen and then casts it to the wind where some will fertilize other ragweeds and some of it will cause allergy suffers a great deal of anguish.

Find It

Goldenrod is a common plant and may be found in many different environments. Look for it at edges of forests and in grasslands, such as restored prairies.
Coldwater Spring
Mill Ruins Park
Indian Mounds Regional Park
Fort Snelling State Park
Cenaiko Lake (East Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park)
Pilot Knob

Want to Help Us Better Understand the Park?

See our iNaturalist project, "The Life of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area" and contribute to it by downloading the iNaturalist app and uploading your sightings of this species, and others, to the project. You can also upload your sightings from your computer.

Last updated: March 5, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

111 E. Kellogg Blvd., Suite 105
Saint Paul, MN 55101

Phone:

(651) 293-0200
This is the general phone line at the Mississippi River Visitor Center. Please leave a voicemail if we miss your call and expect a return call within 1 day, often sooner.

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