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Don’t blame the goldenrod — blame prolific ragweed

Don’t blame the goldenrod — blame prolific ragweed

When allergic people hear the word goldenrod, it makes them want to sneeze. But if truth be told, these plants have been victims of a bad rap.

Goldenrod blooms at the same time (late summer and fall) as ragweed, and because of its bright yellow flowers, it has been blamed for fall allergy symptoms.

But this plant produces a very heavy and sticky pollen that relies on insect transfer for pollination. It’s too heavy to fly in the wind. Ragweed pollen, on the other hand, is tiny and light, plus a single plant can release as many as a million pollen grains.

And goldenrod is not only friendly to humans, but also to insects. There are more than 100 species of goldenrod native to North America and their pollen feeds countless bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Take a much-deserved bow, noble goldenrod.