Purple and gold are the brightest colors among our fall wildflowers. The purple is extraordinarily beautiful, but in terms of sheer numbers, it’s the gold that dominates. These days, everywhere there’s sunlight there’s some golden flower, and much of the time the flower is a goldenrod, Solidago. Some of goldenrod’s inflorescences, like those of the purple ironweed, are composed of disk flowers only. But many have both ray and disk flowers, sort of a diminutive sunflower in arrangement. Only the ray flowers can produce seeds. And these tiny flowers, when massed, put on quite a show and attract all kinds of pollinators.
Goldenrod has an undeserved bad reputation as the cause of autumn hay fever and sneezing. Stay tuned to this blog — the true culprit will be revealed soon!