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Which is golden rod?

--- Posting from our now closed Forum ---
Troopers Hill Local Nature Reserve is home to many native plants but we also have others that arrive as garden waste, or via bird droppings or just as wind-blown seeds. Today, looking beautiful in the sunshine, there are two very different plant species, known by the same name, golden rod, growing on Troopers Hill.

One is a native of North America, Solidago canadensis. It is often bought as a garden plant, sometimes called Canada golden rod. This plant produces nectar that is attractive to many insects but is an invasive species in China and Japan and has led to the extinction of a number of species of native plants in Shanghai.

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The other is native to Europe, Solidago virgaurea. This article from Butterfly Conservation http://butterfly-conservation.org/files ... en-rod.pdf explains the important of this plant. It is the food plant of 40 moths and 9 species feed on it exclusively. A number of gall flies (Tephritidae) and leaf-mining flies (Agromyzidae) are also associated with Goldenrod, including some very rare species.

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This bee bears out this part of the article "The flowers of Goldenrod provide an important source of nectar and pollen in late summer and autumn and are especially important for bees and hoverflies.".
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The article goes on to say "Goldenrod is apparently declining, probably more so in woodland and scrubby areas where it disappears as conditions become shady, e.g. under the tree canopy or in thick invasive scrub.". Troopers Hill's management plan http://www.troopers-hill.org.uk/plan.htm aims to keep trees and scrub under control on certain area of the Hill. Volunteers and parks staff have spent thousands of hours cutting back scrub and trees to achieve this. We are very pleased to say we have a lot of Solidago virgaurea on Troopers Hill and very little Solidago canadensis.

Come and join us on next work party http://www.troopers-hill.org.uk/workp.htm to help us do this and preserve the special plants that provide food and a habitat that ensure the survival of a wide range of creatures.

Posted by Susan, Thu Aug 07, 2014 4:36 pm


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