Saturday, March 12, 2011

Is it a perennial?

On page 44 of her remarkable book Eco Colour, India Flint has a photo of "drying bundled goldenrod". 
A whole armful of it!! What bounty.....
I have 3 plants, given me last year by my organics teacher and carefully split so if I happened

to lose one in a drought
or through neglect 

or just because it disappeared never to be seen again under a rampant overgrowth of couchgrass
I would still have 2 others.

Which made me think about exactly what sort of a plant goldenrod is.
And how India managed to have such a lovely big bundle to dry.

My reading told me it is considered an invasive weed in China and Germany and that it is a perennial.  That means it comes back each year without having to "do" anything about it.

But I also have the choice of waiting till my 3 precious plants seed, and then saving that seed for resowing in Spring....."Propagation is by wind-disseminated seeds ...."(Wikipedia - Goldenrod)

Or, I can also let autumn roll on a little longer and wait till the flowers have gone and then divide the plant which grows......"  by spreading underground rhizomes which can form colonies of vegetative clones of a single plant." (Wikipedia - Goldenrod)
Better sharpen my spade, so I get a nice clean cut. 

Knowing a little about plants has deepened my love of ecodyeing.  There's magic and knowledge in their Latin taxonomic names - Solidago canadensis; Solidago virgaurea; Solidago spp and the clues names give to the properties of and even colours hidden in the plants.

Even if you only mutter them as a mantra to keep your brain stimulated and give you another tool of knowledge. Especially if like me, you have no Latin!!!!

India has a comprehensive section on pgs 49 - 64 labelled
 "Some Traditional Dye Materials". 
It's a great resource and she has included the common names and parts used.


  1. Hi Gin

    Enjoyed our chat this morning and now reading all about Goldenrod jxx

  2. thank you yet again for a kindly mention. my golden rod has slightly less profuse flowers than yours
    but some of it is taller than me
    it's been a good growing year
    i like using it just before it flowers [cos i love green]
    but if you like yellow
    then the flowering state is best

  3. ...have just found you and what a lovely blog you have!!