Sunday, September 13, 2009

Goldenrod (Flat-Topped Species)

There are many species of Goldenrod around the lake. Most identification guides categorize the species by inflorescence shapes, and today we'll look at a couple of flat-topped goldenrods.

First, here's Lance-leaved Goldenrod, Solidago graminifolia, having 3 parallel-veined leaves about a quarter of an inch wide.

Next up is Slender-leaved Goldenrod, S. tennuifolia, with a single vein in an eigth inch wide leaf.

From Wikipedia:

"Inventor Thomas Edison experimented with goldenrod to produce rubber, which it contains naturally.[6] Edison created a fertilization and cultivation process to maximize the rubber content in each plant. His experiments produced a 12 foot tall plant that yielded as much as 12 percent rubber. The rubber produced through Edison's process was resilient and long lasting. The tires on the Model T given to him by his friend Henry Ford were made from goldenrod. Examples of the rubber can still be found in his laboratory, elastic and rot free after more than 50 years. However, even though Edison turned his research over to the U.S. government a year before his death, goldenrod rubber never went beyond the experimental stage."

"Goldenrod." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 8 Sep 2009, 18:43 UTC. 8 Sep 2009 <>.


  1. You are so dedicated... I have been meaning to try to ID all the different kinds of goldenrod for many seasons now, but just never get around to it; and rubber from golden rod? Who knew?!
    In my comment from yesterday, the phrase "certain slant of light" is from a poem by Emily Dickinson; I've always thought the words to be so full of emotion- almost a poem in itself!

  2. I have hesitated for some time before taking the plunge into the goldenrods. I felt overwhelmed so planned to take them on singularly. Last weekend my thought was to identify one flat top and I found two the very same day!

    With today's promising weather and your encouraging comment, I will head out for more species. Reading my guides, I see that not only inflorescence, but also leaf, shape will help with the identifications.

    Thanks for the follow up on the poem. Reading it seemed to convey more of the same feeling I initially felt and leaves me thinking that I might read poetry more often. We were perhaps on the same wavelength--I was looking for a suitable goldenrod poem for yesterday's post.

  3. Decades ago, I was astonished that German perennial gardeners always included goldenrod for lovely September color. They cheer us when we're wistful about summer's end. Joyce

  4. They really are quite beautiful, aren't they? The bees are working them over well--I always wonder what they're getting into.

    Well, I am back with a ton of photos. Now it's time to try to pull out an ID or two.