Thursday, September 11, 2014

Flower Friday: Seaside goldenrod dazzles our dunes (and other habitats)!

Photo by Walter Taylor
Seaside goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens)

Seaside goldenrod's conspicuous golden blooms can be seen on dunes, in tidal marshes and bogs, in sandy flatwoods, along roadsides, and in disturbed areas. Its flowers are yellow and borne on spikelike racemes. Its basal leaves are strap-like in shape and alternately arranged.

Seaside goldenrod grows throughout Florida but, as its common name suggests, it is primarily found in coastal counties.
It attracts butterflies and other pollinators with its nectar, and also attracts birds that are searching for insects.
Family: Asteraceae
Hardiness: North, Central and South Florida (Zones 7–10)
Soil: Well-drained, sandy soils
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Growth habit: 3-5+ feet tall in bloom
Garden tips: Seaside goldenrod does best in dry, sunny conditions. This will keep its height in check and allow it to produce more blooms. It has a tendency to spread, and thus is better suited to mass plantings rather than small areas. It can be propagated by seeds, cuttings or division. It is also salt-tolerant.

Seaside goldenrod is often available at nurseries that specialize in native plants.Visit PlantRealFlorida.org to find a native nursery in your area. Seeds are available through the Florida Wildflowers Growers Cooperative.

To see where seaside goldenrod occurs naturally in Florida, visit www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3935.

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