- Full sun to light shade
- High moisture settings, including seasonally flooded areas
- 4' to 6' in height, spreading
- Best in wet meadow and shoreline ecosystems
Looking for a partner for Joe-Pye Weed that can hold their own against Joe-Pye’s overall awesomeness? May I introduce Giant Goldenrod?
I’m still at the beginning of learning about the incredible wealth and diversity of Solidago species in and near the Ottawa valley and didn’t realize that the, admittedly exceptionally tall, Goldenrods growing in the seasonally flooded hydro cut in Perth were distinct from the other Goldenrods that begin their blooming at roughly the same time, until last summer.
Their high moisture setting and height are two hints to their identity and a close inspection of their, generally hairless, stem shows the characteristic, easy to rub away, ‘waxy bloom’ that gives them a bluish or whiteish tone and simplifies their identification. Another interesting feature, that wasn’t apparent until a couple of months later, is their adorably fluffy seed heads. They really do take Goldenrod floof to a whole new level.
Part of the same complex as Canada Goldenrod, with a similar capacity to spread if left alone and to their own devices, Giant Goldenrod are definitely a species that I would recommend planting in a community of plants that will be unfazed by their bold nature.
If you have setting that receives plenty of moisture and you’d like to fill the space with an abundance of plants that can support a thriving and diverse ecosystem, these and Joe-Pye-Weed, Common Boneset, Flat Topped White Aster, Panicled Aster, Canada Bluejoint Grass, Sensitive Fern, Orange Jewelweed are all thriving together without anyone getting overwhelmed and host an incredible array of critters large and small. Blue Skullcap, Smallspike False Nettle and Allegheny Monkeyflower would happily fill in the ground cover layer.