Once considered pesky weeds, these accent flowers are ideal for
garden-style and wildflower designs.
Solidago (pronounced sol-i-DAY-go or sol-i-DAW-go) is
commonly known as goldenrod. A wildflower native mostly to North
America but also to South America, Europe and Asia, Solidago
is a member of the large Asteraceae/Compositae (sunflower)
family. Relatives include asters, chrysanthemums, Gerberas,
marguerites, Dahlias and Zinnias as well as hundreds
of other flower types.
parent and child.
Solidago is also closely related to and closely resembles
Solidaster (commonly known as yellow aster or golden aster), and
with good reason: Solidaster is a cross between Solidago
and upland white Asters (A. ptarmicoides).
here’s lookin’ at
Solidago has masses of tiny bright yellow florets in
branching plumelike spikes. Stems are thin, leafy and generally 15
to 36 inches long.
Contrary to popular belief, these flowers are not allergenic. Their
pollen is heavy and not easily carried by wind; in arrangements and
bouquets, they won’t cause allergic reactions among consumers.
Ragweed (Ambrosia), with light pollen, is the most common
cause of hay fever.
Purchase Solidago when an abundance (half to two-thirds) of
buds are starting to open. Avoid bunches in which the florets are
fully developed and showing pollen or turning brown. Foliage should
be firm and bright green. Look for signs of rot along the stems, dry
foliage, or browning of the stems or blossoms.
Solidago is available year-round from both domestic and
the “weed’s” needs.
These flowers are especially prone to water stress, so process them
immediately upon their arrival in your shop. First, remove the
bunches from the box(es), and check flower quality. Then remove all
stem bindings and sleeves, followed by any damaged foliage as well
as all foliage that would be under water in storage containers.
Next, rinse stems under tepid running water, then recut the ends, on
an angle, with a sharp, sterilized blade, removing at least 1 inch
of stem. Immediately dip or place the stems into a hydration
solution, especially if flowers are wilted or limp, then place them
into clean storage containers with lukewarm (100 F to 110 F)
properly prepared fresh flower-food solution. (See “Special
Place storage containers immediately into a floral refrigerator, at
33 F to 35 F, with 80 percent to 90 percent relative humidity. Allow
the flowers to take up water in the cooler for at least two hours
before selling or designing with them.
Solidago provides a vase life at the consumer level of seven
to 10 days, depending on stage of maturity when sold and the care it
receives. Advise consumers to recut the stems and change the
flower-food solution in their containers every two or three days.
ethyl’s no problem.
Solidago is not sensitive to ethylene gas.
These flowers are particularly susceptible to stem clogging by
bacteria in container solution, so recut the stems and change the
flower-food solution every other day.
In addition, Solidago foliage is prone to yellowing, but it
is important to leave some foliage on stems in arrangements. Using a
flower-food containing an anti-yellowing product can help prevent
fresh to dry.
These diminutive flowers are excellent candidates for air drying.
Collect stems at their peak condition, and hang small bunches upside
down in a cool, dark, well-ventilated room until they’re dried.
Shattering can be diminished by spraying dried bunches with a
In 1895, Nebraska adopted Solidago as its official state
flower, followed by Kentucky in 1926. South Carolina has two
official state flowers; in 2003, the state adopted goldenrod as its
second state flower.
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