Goldenrod for Good Fortune and a Bit of Encouragement

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Into each person’s life, a little rain must fall. Sometimes it comes in sprinkles of annoyance like car trouble, tax problems or dental surgery. Other times in waves of misfortune like health problems, lost love and missed opportunity. While words of advice are tempting, they are often ill-timed no matter how meaningful, but any encouragement is certainly welcomed and necessary when someone you love is standing under a cloud. Flowers are just the right thing to say in this situation, and few are as perfectly-worded as goldenrod. Also known by its Latin name, Solidago spp., this native American wildflower is both cheery and stately and will help a person to hold their head up when life has got them down.

Growing wild in the meadows and prairies of North America, the goldenrod has a certain devil-may-care look about it that sends a message of encouragement and makes one want to dust themselves off and move on. Hardy and long-lived, they have a surprisingly graceful look lent by the feathery flowers that top the tall stems of this plant. At their prime in mid summer through late fall, this flower can be found at a florist year round and are both economical (at a dollar or less a stem) as well as highly ornamental.

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A perennial plant related to sunflowers, the bright yellow plumes of goldenrod form at the tops of tall, straight stems that can reach 1 to 3 feet. The leaves are quite small and dainty and cover stems that branch slightly towards the top. The rich, golden color that is sometimes used to describe other things like paper or paint has the unique quality of tempered sunshine and is bright without being garish. Small individual flowers line the feather-like tops to form the floral plumes and will last for at least two weeks in a vase or centerpiece arrangement. A handful of goldenrod stems alone in a tall, glass vase are beautiful and elegant on their own, but also look amazing mixed with other flowers like dahlias or sunflowers.

Wrongly accused, this plant does not irritate allergies as sometimes believe, since its pollen is too small to do much harm. Through guilt by association, it happens to flower at the same time as many grasses and ragweed, which are the actual culprits.

In the Victorian language of flowers, goldenrod is said to carry the message of good fortune and encouragement. Its warm color and sturdiness are a great symbol of support and will hold up well over time- reminding friends that they will, too.

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