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December 10, 2017
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Clarifying a misconception

Goldenrod is NOT what is aggravating seasonal allergies at this time of year. It is variable in form, but generally displays brilliant splashes of bright yellow flowers with slender, smooth, tapering leaves.
TRR photos by Sandy Long

September 21, 2016

Myths and misunderstandings abound in nature and can lead to undesirable outcomes. Such is the case when it comes to two plants that flower at this time of year. One of them provokes an allergic response in humans. The other does not, but it is often blamed for the offense. Why?
Ragweed is responsible for the host of symptoms associated with respiratory allergies. But although we’re all familiar with its name, many of us haven’t a clue what it looks like. That’s because its unassuming appearance allows it to fade into the background of our perception, behind other more showy plants.

Enter goldenrod, which blooms within a similar timeframe and sometimes in proximity to ragweed. Due to its opulence of bright yellow flowers, it claims our attention and often erroneously gets tagged for triggering our allergies.

We then turn our attention to removing the plants or waging war on the innocent yellow blooms with herbicides. In doing so, we eliminate an important source of sustenance for insects like bees and butterflies. Take some time to learn the difference between these plants while they are blooming now. Then show a friend.