Goldenrod, Seaside



Botanical Name:  Solidago mexicana, syn. Solidago sempervirens

Common Name:  Seaside Goldenrod

Description:  There are 21 native species of Solidago that grow in Florida. This beautiful plant is one of them. Goldenrod species have different growth habits, so be sure to choose one that fits the height and spreading habit that you need for your garden.

Seaside goldenrod blooms in very showy masses on dunes, in swales and brackish marshes, on sandy soils in coastal areas, and occasionally inland throughout the state. Its nectar attracts a variety of butterflies (including Monarchs), native bees, honey bees, beneficial insects, and other pollinators. The goldenrod soldier beetle is a goldenrod pollinator. The flowers are an important food/energy source for fall migrating monarch butterflies traveling the Atlantic coastal flyway. The plant also attracts birds searching for insects. It quickly grows to 1-2′ tall when not in bloom, 3-5′ tall with flowers. Plant this in sun, part sun, or part shade areas of your garden. It is drought tolerant once established, but also grows just fine in rain gardens. I love its versatility!

Seaside goldenrod’s bright yellow flowers are born in clusters on terminal spikelike racemes. Individual flowers are composed of many tubular disk florets; ray florets are absent. It typically blooms late summer through fall. Basal leaves are glabrous, strap-like and alternately arranged. Stem leaves are sessile and reduced. The basal leaves usually stay evergreen through the winter, with the stem leaves dying back. The fruit is a pubescent achene.

Per the Atlas of Florida Plants:  Recent work uses the name S. mexicana for Florida material and restricts S. sempervirens to North Carolina and northward (Semple et al. 2016).

Highly tolerant of frequent or regular salt water inundation (usually areas with tidal inundation). Highly tolerant of salty wind and salt spray.

This plant in 1-gallon containers is 8-15″ tall.

Plant Lore:  Goldenrods have been used medicinally since Roman times or earlier. Seaside goldenrod was used by Seminoles to treat wounds. Goldenrods in general get a bad rap as allergy instigators, but this is merely a misconception. The real culprit tends to be ragweed, which blooms at the same time of year but is far less noticeable in the landscape. Ragweed pollen is lightweight and buoyant, making it easily airborne — and easier for us to inhale. Goldenrod has heavier pollen; it is less likely to catch the wind or find its way to our noses.

Florida Hardiness Zones 8 – 10


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