Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sun Medicine

Goldenrods (Solidago sp. and Euthamia sp.) bring certain vibrancy to the garden. Not just for their golden hues, but also for the myriad of insects that buzz, hover, crawl and dance all over them. In the sunshine their yellow plumes of tiny yellow flowers come alive. In just twenty minutes or so I observed a ladybug, metallic green sweat bees, a candy-striped leafhopper, a weevil, a spring azure butterfly, flower flies, solitary wasps, a sawfly and countless bumble bees. 

The Chippewa Indian name for goldenrod translates to “sun medicine” and the Latin name Solidago means, “to make whole”, owing to the plant’s many medicinal properties. For me, they heal a dark mood. Over 100 species of goldenrod are native and widespread in North America. They brighten up wooded areas, pastures, waste places and highways in the fall as golden energy prolonging summer’s warmth. In the winter when color has faded their seeds provide sustenance for sparrows, goldfinches and juncos.