Friday, January 4, 2013

An Encounter with A Giant Goldenrod

   We met a giant the other day!  A nine and a half foot tall goldenrod.  That's a very tall goldenrod!  It wins the prize for the tallest goldenrod I've ever seen.
9 1/2 foot tall goldenrod
  This goldenrod had a rather stout stem and even had a very large ball gall.
goldenrod ball gall
The ball gall was about three feet or so up the stem.
large ball gall on a giant goldenrod
   Among the leaves were many Black Blister Galls.  These interesting galls are caused by gall midges - Asteromyia carbonifera.  I wrote a bit more about these and other goldenrod galls in a previous Nature Post.
Black Blister Galls on a very tall goldenrod
   Notice that I took this next photo looking up into the goldenrod's leaves....We're not accustomed to looking up at goldenrod galls.   I thought that was a unique part of an encounter with a giant goldenrod.
Black Blister Galls on very tall goldenrod
   If you came upon a giant goldenrod, perhaps you would do what I did... I dug up a stalk and planted the roots in my backyard.  I hope it grows tall.
    More than likely the reason this goldenrod grew so tall was the perfect conditions of the spot where it was growing... and not the plant's genetics.  My transplant will probably disappoint me and not grow into another giant.


  1. I love that you dug it up and took it home Dana !

    1. Sybil,
      I left a stalk there and took one home. If they both grow, we'll have a mini experiment on goldenrod growth.