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goldenrod - solidago virgaurea - flower and insect

Goldenrod, Solidago virgaurea

European goldenrod, Solidago virgaurea, exuberantly brightens up many countries. You can hardly miss this plant with her numerous bright yellow flowers. In our Dutch riverlands, one used to see several Solidago species regularly. At the water’s edge you’d occasionally come across the even more strikingly flowering canadensis, while the virgaurea fared better along the fields. Unfortunately, you don’t often see this plant these days. She has a hard time living in the midst of all those over-fertilized monoculture meadows in the Netherlands. Plus, she’s crowded out by other goldenrod species, such as the aforementioned canadensis but also the gigantea. Over here, Solidago virgaurea has therefore ended up on the red list of protected plant species.

Medicinal properties of goldenrod, Solidago virgaurea

Humans around the world have appreciated goldenrod for her medicinal properties since ancient times. Just about every medical tradition uses her. We mainly employ her because of her effect on moisture balance, kidneys and urinary tract. Her effect on the respiratory tract is perhaps less well-known, but very valuable nonetheless. In addition, goldenrod has a number of external uses that we will discuss further on in this monograph.

Magical properties of Solidago virgaurea

You’d expect goldenrod to be associated with money because of its golden appearance. And you would be correct. Among other things, you can use her to magically arrange financial matters. Do you often lose your keys? Ask goldenrod for help. If you could use some luck, the latter’s a good idea too. In addition to all these secular uses, this plant also has beneficial effects on love magic.

Botanical description Golden rod, Solidago virgaurea

Goldenrod is a strong plant that grows up to a height of about 1m20. The rhizome is small underneath a lateral leaf rosette with the stem next to it. The stem is usually glabrous, sometimes slightly hairy and little branched, except where the inflorescence can be seen.
The shape of the leaves varies, depending on their location along the stem. The lower leaves have the longest stalks and are ovate, while the upper leaves are rather lanceolate with no or very small stalk. The lower leaves have a sharper serrated edge than the upper ones.
Goldenrod blooms in panicle-shaped racemes. The ray florets are a sunny yellow. After flowering, white-haired cylindrical brown achenes with 12 ribs are formed.
Incidentally, the invasive canadensis grows up to a meter or 2. The roots of this goldenrod species are larger and reach much deeper. The inflorescence of this plant is also clearly different. The long panicles have a multitude of much smaller flowers turned to one side. It is therefore not difficult to tell these two plants apart.

Interesting facts

European goldenrod is a protected plant in my neck of the woods. Reason not to just pick her when you come across her. Because it is the virgaurea that I know from home, I have nevertheless chosen to devote this monograph to her and not to one of her congeners, such as the canadensis and the gigantea. However, all are equally useful for medicinal and magical purposes mentioned in this monograph.
You can use goldenrod leaves to dye fabrics. Depending on the method, you get a golden yellow to greenish yellow color.

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