Tag Archives: pollination

Why goldenrods don’t make you sneeze: the biology of pollination

Image: Not being allergic to Solidago juncea. © Stephen Heard

Note: This is a science outreach piece belonging to a series I wrote for the newsletter of the Fredericton Botanic Garden. I’d be happy to see it modified for use elsewhere and so am posting the text here under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license . If you use it, though, I’d appreciate hearing where and how.


One of my favourite autumn sights is a field of goldenrods, blazing yellow and alive with insects flitting and buzzing from bloom to bloom. I’ve learned, though, that not everyone agrees with me – especially sufferers of seasonal allergies, who tend to recoil from goldenrods rather than rejoice in them. But if you’re sneezing, goldenrods aren’t the culprit – and there’s some interesting biology behind understanding why. Continue reading