AuguST - goldenrod!
Flowers at Graham's Oak Nature Preserve in Wilsonville.
Flower of the Month
End of Summer Yummy for bees!
My garden seems to be light on flowers that delight bees right now. The lavender has called it quits and the other plants are still in their first year and are nice, but not a huge draw. So last night I drove to Wilsonville to check out my fave meadow at Graham Oaks to see what was blooming now. The goldenrod at the entry area was overwhelming! And covered with bees. It was after their bedtime, so they were all asleep, sometimes 3 or 4 to a branch! Primarily a nectar plant, some were worker bees had gathered so much pollen that they fell asleep with their pollen pants still on.
The plants are tall, well over my head, and grow in clusters. All I probably have room for in my yard is one or two of those, but it'll definitely make my bees hum!
The Oak's designers have surrounded the sea of gold with delicate purple asters of different sizes, it's a good combo!
Goldenrod is a perennial plant that is well-known for its healing properties. This wild edible is a plant that reproduces through its roots, bulbs, stems and by its seed. Goldenrod does not cause seasonal allergies as many tend to believe. No one is, no one can be, allergic to Goldenrod pollen. Why? For starters, it has virtually none and it is pollinated by insects. Only wind-pollinated plants such as Ragweed (which blooms at the same time as Goldenrod) can cause allergic reactions.Currently, there are actually 140 varieties of Goldenrod; therefore it has a unique adeptness in crossbreeding with other plants. All varieties of Goldenrod all are equally nutritious and boast many health benefits. Goldenrod can be used fresh or as a dried herb to make tea (although it is bitter), or as a fluid extract, tincture, or in capsules. Nebraska declared a type of Goldenrod (Soldiago gigantea) the state flower in 1895.
Distinguishing Features: Long wood like stems with spiky tooth like parts which are widely-spaced, yellow flowers that grow in thick clusters.
Flowers: Goldenrod flowers grow as an inflorescence in a broad or occasionally narrow pyramidal panicle. They can be anywhere from 5 to 40 cm (2 to 16") high and nearly as wide.There are several to many horizontal branches, the upper sides of which carry numerous, densely-crowded small heads of golden yellow flowers. Each individual flower head measures about 3 mm (1/8") long and wide. Goldenrod flowers from mid-July to September.