Late summer brings a spectacular surprise of yellow flowers on the California Goldenrod.

This perennial plant has been inconspicuous all year and now just like a song from the Fifth Dimension, Let the Sun Shine In. Goldenrod has very showy yellow flowers in 4-to-6-inch sprays which wave in light breezes and attract a multitude of pollinating insects and butterflies.

California Goldenrod is native to Tulare County, and you can see it in our foothills and mountains in meadows which are wet during the winter and spring but dry in the summer and fall. At the Tule River Native Plant Gardens, Goldenrod is showing off in the Willow Cove Garden where it grows alongside a rock garden feature. The Willow Cove Garden is adopted by Quercus Landscape Design employees. It also in the Plumlee Family Garden where it is growing in an area shaded by tall trees. There are 18 species of plants flowering at the Tule River Gardens this week. You can access the garden plans and plant lists at Tuleriverparkwayassociation.org.

Goldenrod is easy to grow and will provide your late summer garden with a gift of golden yellow flowers. The tall stems are tipped with masses of golden yellow flowers arranged in cylindrical or slightly pyramid-shaped spikes.  These flowers are a nectar heaven for myriad bees, butterflies and other insects including Monarch Butterflies.  They also make a good cut flower.  Although it is shade tolerant, for best flower display, plant in full sun.  California goldenrod will benefit from once-a-week deep watering during the summer.

Goldenrod forms a dense colony which spreads by creeping rhizomes. This plant is deciduous and should be cut back to the ground when it finishes flowering, it will come back from the roots in spring. Goldenrod has the potential to spread consider planting it where its roots are naturally contained by walkways, root barriers or in a large pot. Consider grouping Goldenrod with tall grasses such as Deer Grass, some of the taller California Fuchsias, or penstemon.

The following are just five of the plants which you can see blooming in a quarter mile walk along the Tule River Parkway between Jaye Street and Parkway Drive.

  1. California Goldenrod (Solidago velutina ssp californica)
  2. Desert Marigold (Baileya multiradiata)
  3. Common Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
  4. Woolly Blue Curls (Trichostema lanatum)
  5. California Fuchsia (Epilobium sp)

The Alta Peak Chapter of the California Native Plant Society is hosting an online plant sale. The sale closes September 18, 2022 and can be found at https://cnps-alta-peak.square.site/

Many California native plants are available at Luis’ Nursery 139 S Mariposa Ave, Visalia, Quercus Landscape Design at 32511 Hwy 190, Springville CA 93265 on Saturdays 9-1, and Alta Vista Nursery in Three Rivers which is open by appointment 559 799 7438.  More information on native plants can be found at calscape.org by searching by plant by name or by your zip code.

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