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The humble Goldenrod – pest, weed, intruder

August 17, 2011

A few weeks ago I was walking close to my house and I saw this:

Goldenrod - in the wild

Goldenrod! I was amazed – it is the first time I have seen it growing outside of a home garden here in Finland.

When I came to Finland an age ago I noticed a lot of familiar plant species that exist in Northern Ontario do not exist here. The wildflowers are different here – but it appears for not much longer. In the past when one wanted to grow Goldenrod, you could buy it at a garden centre. I laughed when I saw it garden centre catalogues because back home Goldenrod is considered a weed.

The Finnish Museum of Natural History run under the auspices of the University Helsinki has documented the spread of Goldenrod over the years. In Finnish, it is called Kanadanpiisku. See the page in English. Researchers consider it a pest and that its growth and spread should be monitored and limited.

For me this is a timely finding, since I am currently enrolled in a course on ethnobiology.

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