A Cheery Bloomer: Grass-leaved Goldenrod

Though not as well-known as some of its goldenrod cousins, grass-leaved goldenrod is a pretty native wildflower with excellent garden adaptability. Growing from spreading rhizomes, this perennial forms a clump of upright stems topped with flat clusters of small bright golden yellow flowers from mid-summer to early autumn.

Grass-leaved goldenrod’s common name refers to its narrow, deep green foliage, which adds to its casual charm. Grass-leaved goldenrod has a wide native area and will grow well in a range of soil types and moisture levels. A cheery bloomer, it adds color to a variety of settings, from formal perennial beds to shoreline restoration plantings.

Common name: Grass-leaved goldenrod or flat-topped goldenrod

Botanical name: Euthamia graminifolia

Plant type: Perennial

Zones: 3 to 8

Height: 2 to 4 feet

Family: Asteraceae


Growing conditions

  • Sun: Full sun or partial shade
  • Soil: Tolerant of most soil types
  • Moisture: Moderately moist to moderately dry; drought-resistant once established

Care

  • Mulch: None, or 1 to 2 inches fine-textured organic mulch
  • Pruning: None
  • Fertilizer: None, or a light application of compost in spring

Propagation

  • Seeds
  • Division

Pests and diseases

  • No serious problems


Garden notes

  • Its informal habit and tolerance of moist-to-dry soil makes grass-leaved goldenrod a great choice for meadow plantings and rain gardens.
  • Grass-leaved goldenrod is a valuable source of nectar for butterflies and bees.
  • As with all goldenrods, its pollen is heavy and carried by insects, not blown in the wind, so it doesn’t cause hay fever (the fine, wind-borne pollen of ragweed is usually the real culprit).

All in the family

  • Grass-leaved goldenrod is a member of the aster family (Asteraceae), one of the largest families in the plant kingdom.
  • The flowers of aster family members are actually composed of separate ray flowers (the ring of “petals”) and disc flowers (the center of the flower).
  • Familiar members of the aster family include sunflowers, asters, coneflowers, daisies and chrysanthemums.
  • Euthamia is very closely related to Solidago, the goldenrod genus.

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