In the Wild
European Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea)
*Also known as wound weed and woundwort
Sweet Goldenrod (S. odora)
*Also known as blue mountain tea
These harbingers of autumn are clump-forming perennials. The European goldenrod grows three to seven feet tall with clusters of small flowers on spikes. Its lance-shaped leaves smell similar to Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota) when crushed. Sweet goldenrod reaches two to four feet tall, and its lance-shaped leaves smell like anise when crushed. Its flower clusters grow on the upper sides of plume-like branches. Both plants bloom during August and September and can be found along roadsides and in open fields.
The genus name comes from the Latin solida, meaning “whole,” and ago, “to make.” 96 As this suggests, goldenrod has been used for a range of medicinal purposes. According to folklore, goldenrod points toward hidden treasure or hidden springs. It was also believed that carrying a piece of goldenrod would aid in finding treasure. Blooming at the same time as ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), goldenrod took the rap for causing hay fever until studies showed that its pollen is too heavy to be airborne.
Use dried flowers in a sachet for spells to attract wealth and prosperity. Place several sprigs of flowers and leaves on your altar to aid in divination. Cut long stems of flower plumes and place these wherever you need to lift and boost energy.
Goldenrod is associated with the element air. Its astrological influence comes from Venus.