Goldenrod colors the prairie…

plant with branching flower spikes with small yellow flowers covering the multiple

Canada Goldenrod

The prairie is awash with gold, green, tan and mahogany. The gold is primarily that of goldenrod.

yellow flower heads

Canada Goldenrod — Flowers (left), Plant (right)

There are three types of goldenrod in the prairie. The most common and extensive is Canada goldenrod. It has been blooming for several weeks now. Some plants’ buds are just starting to open, while others are starting to set seed.

yellow flowers

Stiff Goldenrod — Flowers (left), Plant (right)

Stiff goldenrod is another of the goldenrods in the prairie. Stiff goldenrod has the largest flower of all the goldenrod. They are located on a large flat inflorescence on top of a ridgid erect stem. The very long root of the stiff goldenrod allows it survive over-grazing.

yellow flowers along a long thin, arched flower spike

Old-Field Goldenrod — Flowers (left), Plants (right)

Old-field goldenrod is the last of the three goldenrod to bloom. This goldenrod is most common in dry prairie, prairie pastures, and old fields. In sandy and rocky soils.

yellow flowers with bees on them

Bees on Goldenrod — Note the Orange Pollen Baskets

orange butterfly with white and black markings on rough blazing star

Fritillarie Butterfly on Rough Blazing Star

Goldenrod is often erroneously blamed for aggravating people’s hay fever. Goldenrod has heavy sticky pollen unlike ragweed that has light pollen that floats on the wind and really does bother people’s hay fever.

Many of the pollenators that seem to visit goldenrod are bees, wasps and flies. While butterflies seem to mostly visit other flowering plants such as blazing star. I have seen a few butterflies briefly alight on goldenrod, but they do not seem stop.  Goldenrod is always covered with bees, wasps and flies.

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yellow flower with wasp on it

Wasp on Goldenrod

bees on goldenrod

Honey Bee on Goldenrod (left), Bee on Goldenrod (right)

many small yellow flowers with yellow centers against a blue sky

Sneezeweed

Other golden flowers that add to the color this time of year include sneezeweed and prairie sunflower.

yellow, daisy-like flowers with brown centers

Prairie Sunflowers (left), Prairie Sunflower with Hoverfly (right)

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