You’re smart and sophisticated — not one of those people who erroneously believe that goldenrod causes hay fever. Goldenrod is, in fact, a carefree, wonderful perennial if you choose the right kind. The right kind for you is one called ‘Fireworks.’
‘Fireworks’ is a superior, sun-loving selection of our native rough-leaved goldenrod (Solidago rugosa). Unlike some weedy goldenrods, this one forms clumps and doesn’t spread. It’s a compact grower about 3 feet tall and wide, making it a fine plant for small mixed borders. It thrives in well-drained or wet soil. Deer won’t eat it, but butterflies and hummingbirds swarm to its nectar-laden flowers. The blooms are good for cutting and it flourishes throughout the South.
Depending on where you live, profuse sprays of sizzling yellow flowers explode like fireworks atop the foliage in August and September and continue into October. Try combining ‘Fireworks’ goldenrod with plants sporting blue and purple flowers, such as fall asters, ironweed (Vernonia sp.), wild ageratum (Eupatorium coelestinum), Russian sage (Pervokskia atriplicifolia), great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica), and salvias.
Where To Buy
Although most garden centers look down on goldenrods as being too common, the one they might have is ‘Fireworks.’ No luck finding it? Here are some good mail-order suppliers.