‘Solidago caesia’: A Non-Allergenic and Shade-Loving Goldenrod

Reader Contribution by Barry Glick and Sunshine Farm And Gardens
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Solidago caesia happens to be one of my very favorite autumn-blooming perennials. The bright, Primrose-yellow brilliance of its unusual zig-zag, axillary, long-lasting flower heads never fails to garner praise from garden visitors.


One of the most commonly asked questions, (after I answer the “Wow…what is that?” question) is “Doesn’t it make you sneeze?”

Poor, poor Goldenrod, taking the heat for Ambrosia artemisiifolia just because it coincidentally shares the same window of time in flowering. Ambrosia artemisiifolia is the dreaded allergen “ragweed”! Goldenrod pollen DOES NOT cause an allergic reaction.

Native and Shade-Loving

Solidago caesia is native to 32 states in the continental US —USDA Map — from Maine to Texas and three Canadian provinces. That said, I would think it to be hardy just about anywhere. 

Although its native habitat is shade, it can handle part sun. Moisture requirements are not high and I’ve grown it successfully in average to dry-ish soil. Plant height is 18 to 36 inches if erect, but it so often assumes a graceful arching habit.

Pest Resistance

The gargantuan populations of deer that roam these mountains and valleys have never even raised an eyebrow at this plant. (Do deer even have eyebrows?)

So yes, this is a “Goldenrod” — not a weedy Goldenrod, but an extremely desirable one — and I highly recommend it for just about any garden. Be it a native, natural, wild or formal garden, there’s a place for Solidago caesia.
I’ve been building a good stock of Solidago caesia to share with you and now is a good time to plant them.

Barry Glick founded Sunshine Farm and Gardens in 1972 on 60 acres in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. His plant collection now numbers more than 10,000 taxa, many unknown to cultivation. Several of these plants have been introduced to gardening in recent years. Barry exchanges seeds and plants with people at arboretums, botanic gardens, nurseries and private gardens in virtually every country in the world. Peruse Barry’s speakers series here and read the rave reviews hereIf you have any questions, would like to chat about any plants that Barry offers, send an email to his personal email addressRead all of Barry’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

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