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Spare the Goldenrod

5Oct10goldenrod
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Gesundheit. God bless you. Sorry if you’ve been sneezing, but don’t blame the goldenrod.

All along the roadsides through early autumn, you’ve been able to spot tall stands of our native goldenrod with its showy spikes of bright yellow flowers. It blooms at the same time of year when people with seasonal allergies start sneezing – but that’s usually caused by ragweed.

Ragweed also grows along highways and such, but it doesn’t have pretty flowers like goldenrod and the biggest difference is their pollen. Ragweed pollen is very light because its flowers are pollinated by the wind – and when it blows, it goes right up your nose. Goldenrod pollen, on the other hand, is sticky, so it stays on the flowers and becomes a fabulous feast for the bees and butterflies who need a meal so late in the year when little else is blooming.

So, sorry for your hay fever, but please don’t blame the goldenrod – instead look for a place to plant some in your garden next year.

Reported By: Phran Novelli, KYW Newsradio

(Photo by Phran Novelli)

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