Useful Yard

In the middle of the front yard, the solidago rises above other perennials and annual wildflowers.

Overstory

Douglas Tallamy’s books on restoring nature and attracting beneficial insects repeatedly mention certain effective plants. White oaks are the most important to him but I don’t have room for one — a neighbor has a large red oak in a far corner that grows mostly into our yard. But I took his advice to add goldenrod and was rewarded almost immediately.

When it was purchased, in the spring of 2020, it was nothing more than a few leaves at soil level. But by summer, six stalks had shot up through the coreopsis that surrounded it. At their tops sprang pyramidal flowerheads, made up of hundreds of tiny flowers, and attracted all kinds of activity: wasps, bees, spiders, and more.

It doesn’t require much attention other than sun, and typical of anything that spreads, it has a weedy reputation. But I’ll make room for it. And I’m tempted to try other cultivars, like ‘Fireworks’. For now, my single plant does exactly what I hoped it would do, and looks good from summer through winter.

Details

Origin

North America

Size

It reached it’s expected height of four-feet in its first year.

Benefits

The beneficial wasps and other insects showed up as soon as it was in bloom. The seed heads, left standing through the winter for birds and self-seeding, add a nice texture in the fall.

Family

Asteraceae

Relatives in the Yard

None listed (yet)