Roadside Beauty ( Goldenrod and Loosestrife)

goddarb

Pembroke, Canada

Artist's Description

Taken in Quebec, Canada on Route 148 West (between Gatineau and Waltham) on August 21, 2011
636 view, April 16, 2014
Goldenrod and Purple Loosestrife (Featured in Wildflowers of North America, September, 2011) IN top ten of “TWO” challenge in Wildflowers of the World, October, 2012

M, shutter speed 1/160, F 5.6, ISO 100, focal length 55 mm.

HERE IS WHAT WIKIPEDIA SAYS ABOUT GOLDENROD:

Solidago, commonly called goldenrods, is a genus of about 100 species of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae.1 Most are herbaceous perennial species found in the meadows and pastures, along roads, ditches and waste areas in North America.

Solidago species are perennials growing from woody caudices or rhizomes. They have stems that can be decumbent to ascending or erect, ranging in height from 5 to 100 or more centimeters. Some species have stems that branch near the top. Some Solidago species are hairless others have strigose, strigillose, hispid, or short-villous hairs. The basal leaves in some species remain persistent through flowering, while in others the basal leaves are shed before flowering. The leaf margins are often serrate, and leaf faces may be hairless or densely hairy; the distal leaves are sometimes 3-nerved, and hairless or sparsely to densely hairy with scabrous, strigillose, or villous hairs. In some species the upper leaves are stipitate-glandular or sometimes resinous. The flowering heads usually radiate, sometimes discoid, with (1–)2 to 1500+ florets in racemiform (club-shaped or pyramidal), paniculiform or corymbo-paniculiform, or sometimes secund arrays. The involucres are campanulate to cylindric or attenuate. The ray florets are pistillate and fertile. The corollas are yellow or rarely white and are usually hairless. The disc florets are bisexual and fertile and number 2 to 35 typically, but is some species there maybe up to 60 florets. The corollas of the disc florets are yellow and the tubes are shorter than the throats. The fruits are cypselae, which are narrowly obconic to cylindric in shape, they are sometimes somewhat compressed. The cypselae have 8 to 10 ribs usually and are hairless or moderately covered with stiff slender bristles. The pappi are persistent with barbellate bristles.

The many goldenrod species can be difficult to distinguish, due to their similar bright, golden yellow flower heads that bloom in late summer. Goldenrod is often unfairly blamed for causing hay fever in humans. Goldenrod pollen is too heavy and sticky to be blown far from the flowers, and is thus mainly pollinated by insects. Frequent handling of goldenrod and other flowers, however, can cause allergic reactions, leading some florists to change occupation]

Parts of some goldenrods can be edible when cooked. Goldenrods can be used for decoration and making tea. Goldenrods are, in some places, held as a sign of good luck or good fortune. They are considered weeds by many in North America but they are prized as garden plants in Europe, where British gardeners adopted goldenrod long before Americans did as garden subjects. Goldenrod only began to gain some acceptance in American gardening (other than wildflower gardening) during the 1980s.

AND HERE IS WHAT WIKIPEDIA SAYS ABOUT PURPLE LOOSESTRIFE:

Lythrum salicaria (Purple loosestrife is a flowering plant belonging to the family Lythraceae, native to Europe, Asia, northwest Africa, and southeastern Australia. It should not be confused with other plants sharing the name loosestrife that are members of the family Primulaceae. Other names include spiked loosestrife, or purple lythrum
Lythrum salicaria is a herbaceous perennial plant, that can grow 1-1.5 m tall, forming clonal colonies 1.5 m or more in width with numerous erect stems growing from a single woody root mass. The stems are reddish-purple or red to purple and square in cross-section. The leaves are lanceolate, 3–10 cm long and 5–15 mm broad, downy and sessile, and arranged opposite or in whorls of three.
The flowers are reddish purple, 10–20 mm diameter, with six petals (occasionally five) and 12 stamens, and are clustered tightly in the axils of bracts or leaves; there are three different flower types, with the stamens and style of different lengths, short, medium or long; each flower type can only be pollinated by one of the other types, not the same type, thus ensuring cross-pollination between different plants.
The fruit is a small 3–4 mm capsule containing numerous minute seeds. Flowering lasts throughout the summer. When the seeds are mature, the leaves often turn bright red through dehydration in early autumn; the red colour may last for almost two weeks. The dead stalks from previous growing seasons are brown.
L. salicaria is very variable in leaf shape and degree of hairiness, and a number of subspecies and varieties have been described, but it is now generally regarded as monotypic with none of these variants being considered of botanical significance. The species Lythrum intermedium Ledeb. ex Colla is also now considered synonymous
It has been used as an astringent medicinal herb to treat diarrhoea and dysentery; it is considered safe to use for all ages, including babies. It is also cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens. The flowers are showy and bright, and a number of cultivars have been selected for variation in flower colour, including ‘Atropurpureum’ with dark purple flowers, ‘Brightness’ with deep pink flowers, ‘Happy’ with red flowers on a short (60 cm) stem, ‘Purple Spires’ with purple flowers on a tall stem, and ‘Roseum Superbum’ with large pink flowers. It has also been introduced in many areas of North America by bee keepers, due to its abundunce of flowers which provide a large source of nectar
The purple loosestrife has been introduced into temperate New Zealand and North America where it is now widely naturalized and officially listed in some controlling agents. Infestations result in dramatic disruption in water flow in rivers and canals, and a sharp decline in biological diversity as native food and cover plant species, notably cattails, are completely crowded out, and the life cycles of organisms from waterfowl to amphibians to algae are affected. A single plant may produce up to three million tiny seeds annually. Easily carried by wind and water, the seeds germinate in moist soils after overwintering. The plant can also sprout anew from pieces of root left in the soil or water. Once established, loosestrife stands are difficult and costly to remove by mechanical and chemical means

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