The Kentucky Floral Emblem: Goldenrod

Today is the anniversary of The Floral Emblem selection for the state of Kentucky; they selected the Goldenrod on May 16, 1926.

Previously, Kentucky's flower had been the Bluegrass, but Kentucky gardening clubs felt bluegrass wasn't representative of the whole state.

Incidentally, Alabama and Nebraska also picked the native goldenrod to be the State Flower.

Goldenrod has a lot of haters; many people confuse it for ragweed. I hate even to say that - because I think that makes people think they must look similar. That's just not true. Yet, once you see them individually - you could never confuse them. Ragweed’s flowers are green and not eye-catching, while goldenrods are golden and very pretty.

I saw an infographic a few years ago that said, "Goldenrod Warning: if I'm here, so is ragweed. Stay indoors! Achoo!" This would be the same as saying, The Black-eyed-Susans are blooming. So is ragweed. The Joe Pye Weed is blooming. So is ragweed. So are all the late summer bloomers - echinacea, Helenium, oriental lily, asters, balloon flowers, sedums, tickseed, autumn crocus, Japanese anemones, blue mist shrub, hydrangeas, the list goes on and on.

The genus name Solidago is taken from the Latin "in solidum ago vulnera" and meaning to "I make wounds whole."

Native Americans and Herbalists recognize the curative power of Goldenrod.

Goldenrod is also an early autumn bloomer goldenrod is an important food source for honey bees, and it is a fantastic cut flower.

Botanical painter Anne Ophelia Todd Dowden who painted the goldenrod with minute detail said,

"Abundant it may be, but repugnant it is not." 

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