SOLIDAGO is a North American plant with around 100 known species and scores of hybrids that have graced our European gardens for many years.
Its reputation for being a little invasive may well put some people off but, given its own corner of the garden, in bright sunshine, it will reward you with a spectacle of yellow flowers in mid to late summer to compete with many other garden favourites.
Its name originates from the Latin word solidus which refers to its well known healing properties. One of stranger commercial claims is that Thomas Edison of light bulb fame extracted a rubber from Solidago and made some of the first rubber tyres for the Model T Ford – has anyone tried it since?
On a more aesthetic level, solidago has given us some wonderful garden plants to enjoy and, with the thousands of tiny daisy flowers that make up each of the spikes of flowers, this border perennial is able to support vast numbers of beneficial insects.
Look out for some of the smaller hybrids such as S. glomerata ‘Goldkind’ and ‘Golden Dwarf.’ Taller hybrids for the middle and rear of summer borders include Lemore, Loddon Gold, Golden Wings and Crown of Rays.
These named hybrids are often less invasive than the wild species that can not only seed themselves but will spread with their stolons in the same way as mint does. The flowers can be used as cut flower and it is advisable to remove dead flower spikes to prevent any possibility of self-seeding.
All species and hybrids will manage in the poorest of soils, with no additional watering or feeding requirements to make them perform on a regular basis, once they are established.