Plant of the Week: Showy goldenrod
The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew up between rail tracks after the trains stopped running in the 1980s. Today, the High Line includes more than 300 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees — each chosen for their hardiness, adaptability, diversity, and seasonal variation in color and texture. Some of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are reflected in the park landscape today.
This week we share with you one of our gardeners’ current favorites.
Goldenrod is a genus that includes nearly 100 hardy perennials, most of which are native to North America. All of the species have similar distinctive yellow blooms that appear in the late summer and early fall, providing a food source for many pollinators. Goldenrod grows wild throughout North America, often being found in meadows, pastures, empty lots, and road side ditches, but due to its “weedy” reputation, it is not often propagated ornamentally in the United States.
On the High Line you’ll find showy goldenrod, or Solidago speciosa, one of the species that is native to North America. You’ll find it growing wild over a wide range of the continent, from Wyoming and Colorado in the west, all the way to the east coast, and up into Canada. It gets its common name from its impressive yellow blooms.
Fun fact: Thomas Edison experimented with methods of growing goldenrod to produce rubber, which the leaves contain naturally. This effort continued into World War II, although the low rubber content of the plant never permitted a commercially-viable product to be created.
WHERE TO SEE THIS PLANT
On the High Line between West 28th and West 30th Streets