Solidago gigantea

Botanical Name : Solidago gigantea
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Solidago
Species: S. gigantea
Kingdom: Plantae

Synonyms : Solidago pitcheri.

Common Names : Tall goldenrod and Giant goldenrod

Habitat : Solidago gigantea is native to N. America – New Brunswick to British Columbia, south to Georgia, Texas and Utah. It grows on the low wet areas, roadsides, pond margins and the sides of streams, generally in mesic areas. It is the state flower of Kentucky and Nebraska.

Description:
Solidago gigantea is a perennial wildflower plant, growing to 1.2 m (4ft), sometimes spreading by means of underground rhizomes. They often grow in clumps, with no leaves as the base but numerous leaves on the stem. At the top, each stem produces a sizable array of many small flower heads, sometimes several hundred. Each head is yellow, containing both disc florets and ray florets.
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The central stem is light green or pale purple, terete, glabrous, and sometimes glaucous. The alternate leaves are 3-5″ long and 1/3–2/3″ (8-17 mm.) across, becoming only slightly shorter while ascending the central stem. Sometimes there are leafy lateral stems that develop from the leaf axils of the central stem, but they are very short and insignificant. The alternate leaves are narrowly lanceolate to elliptic, slightly to sharply toothed along their margins, and sessile; each leaf tapers gradually towards its tip and base. The upper surfaces of the leaves are medium to dark green and glabrous, while their lower surfaces are a slightly lighter shade of green and glabrous or nearly so (sometimes there are fine hairs along the major veins below). Each leaf has 3 veins (a central vein and 2 lateral veins) that are nearly parallel to each other.

The central stem terminates in a panicle of flowerheads up to 1′ long and 1′ across. There is some variability in the shape and size of the panicle across different populations of plants. Individual branches of the panicle are light green, slightly to moderately pubescent, and recurved. There are usually some leafy bracts along the branches of the panicle; these leafy bracts are similar to the leaves, except they are smaller in size. Individual flowerheads are a little less than ¼” across, consisting of about 7-15 yellow ray florets and 5-11 yellow disk florets. At the base of each flowerhead, there are appressed floral bracts in 2-5 overlapping series; individual floral bracts are linear-lanceolate in shape. The blooming period occurs from late summer to early fall for about a month. Both ray and disk florets produce small achenes with sessile tufts of hair. The achenes are bullet-shaped, flat-topped, and finely pubescent. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous. Colonies of plants are often formed from the rhizomes.

It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in flower in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in any moderately fertile moisture retentive soil in sun or semi-shade. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A rather greedy plant, it is apt to impoverish the soil. This species has become a weed in its native range, increasing freely by seed and at the root. The plant attracts various beneficial insects such as ladybirds, lacewings and hoverflies to the garden, these insects will help to control insect pests in the garden.

Propagation :
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and do not allow the compost to become dry. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and grow them on for their first winter in pots. Plant them out into their permanent positions in spring or early summer. Division in spring or autumn. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.
Medicinal Uses:
The leaves and blossoms are astringent, cathartic and styptic. They are a valuable remedy in the treatment of all kinds of haemorrhages. An infusion of the blossoms has been used to treat various fevers. An oil obtained from the plant (is this an essential oil?) is diuretic.
Other Uses:.…Basketry…….The stems can be made into rough basket

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solidago_gigantea
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Solidago+gigantea
http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/wetland/plants/gt_goldenrod.htm

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