Georgia Gardener Newsletter Cool Plant: September 18, 2008

Fireworks Goldenrod
Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks'

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Species Native Range: Eastern U.S. & Canada
Hardiness: USDA Zones (4)5-9
Mature Size: 24-36 inches tall and 24 inches wide
Exposure: Full sun
Soil: Average, well-drained
Drought Tolerance: Excellent
Ease of Culture: Easy

Fireworks goldenrod (FG) is a compact, heavy-flowering cultivar of the common field goldenrod seen blooming at this time of year. Unlike the straight species, FG doesn't spread aggressively by runner or seed instead slowly expanding to form a neat clump. It is a wonderful flower for late season color.

For years, goldenrod was the target of anger from allergy sufferers and medical professionals alike for the mistaken belief that it was to blame for fall allergies. Poor goldenrod with its showy yellow flowers has the misfortune to bloom at the same time and is often found growing alongside ragweed - the true fall allergy culprit. Goldenrod's pollen is too heavy and sticky to be airborne and thus it relies on pollinators to carry it from plant to plant.

FG grows best in full sun in average or rocky soil that is well-drained. Like other goldenrods, FG is extremely drought tolerant once established. It is a great plant for butterflies and other pollinators and makes a good cut flower for arrangements.

Use FG in a perennial bed, cottage garden, wildflower meadow or mixed with sun-loving shrubs. Good companion plants include mums, asters, obedient plant, knockout roses, mistflower, etc.

Sources

FG can be purchased from a variety of online catalogs and from local nurseries.



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