Tom's Blog

Monday, September 15, 2008

Showy goldenrod in the savannas

Showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa), one of the later blooming goldenrods, is now in full bloom. Although often thought of as a prairie plant, it also thrives in our oak savannas.

All of the showy goldenrod plants here are native to the site. Originally we had showy goldenrod only in a small prairie remnant at the east end of Toby's Prairie. We collected seed there and used it in our various prairie plantings. But in addition, we added it to what we call our "open savanna" mix. We started seeing showy goldenrod about three years after first planting, and it is now well established. According to Cochrane and Iltis, it is found in bur oak openings, which is just where this photo was taken.

Showy goldenrod is a perennial, but grows in multiple-flowering clumps (the botanists call this growth form "cespitose"). These clumps start with one or two stems and gradually expand. The photo here is from a substantial clump in the white oak savanna which is probably 8 years old. We have it growing now in every one of our savannas.


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