Much maligned Goldenrod (Solidago) has burst onto the scene with the first bright hints of fall amidst groans and complaints from hay fever victims. No matter how many times a correction is offered, most refuse to release from blame the poor golden wild flower. Innocent, I claim! Bright gold with lots of pollen beloved by the bees, goldenrod is falsely accused.
Ragweed (Ambrosia) is the culprit. Quietly creeping onto the fall canvas with tiny white flowers, it is frequently growing along side its more beautiful neighbor. Its potency is well known to allergists who diagnose allergic rhinitis. The difference between the two plants is mainly in the pollination. Ragweed is carried aloft by the wind far and wide, quite capable of reaching your nose and causing your sneezes. Goldenrod pollen is heavy and doesn’t travel far from the plant. Its nectar is beloved and mostly pollinated by insects, bees, and butterflies. So enjoy the brilliant golden wildflower as it trumpets the beginning of fall while you avoid that noxious weed nearby.