Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks' 

Fireworks goldenrod    Perennial of the Month-- September 2013 Perry caricature

(sole-eh-day' go  rue-go' sah)  (pronunciation at link, turn up volume if too low)

Common name:  Fireworks rough-stemmed or wrinkle-leaf Goldenrod

Family:  Asteraceae, Aster

Height x width: 2.5-3 x 2.5-3ft. average, 4 x 6ft. possible

Growth rate, habit: moderate, upright large clumps

Foliage: alternate-leaved, 

Flowers:  small, bright yellow, in plume-like panicles at ends of cascading stems for at least 2 weeks, August (south) to September (north), resembling fireworks (hence the name)

Hardiness: USDA zones 4-8

Soil:  many, tolerates clay and wet soils as well as dry, prefers well-drained; tolerates more wet soils than many goldenrods

Light:  full sun (6 or more hours direct sun per day)

Pests and problems:  none significant, possible leaf rust

Landscape habit, uses:  meadows, naturalistic gardens, rain gardens, roadsides, rock garden, borders, masses, cut flower garden, bees and butterflies, firescaping (western gardens); combines well with asters, grasses such as little bluestem or blue oat grass, black-leaved bugbane, blue lobelia, in front of miscanthus grass, 'Hot Lips' turtlehead

Other interest: native; deer resistant; seeds are attractive to birds such as finches and sparrows; selected from a coastal population of plants, and named in 1993 at the North Carolina botanical garden (Chapel Hill) by Ken Moore, and introduced by Niche Gardens (NC); top rated in trials at the Chicago Botanic gardens; like other goldenrods, this one does not cause hay fever-- the culprit being other weeds such as ragweed blooming at the same time

Other culture:  may need to divide (spring) every 3-4 years if plant gets too large; removing spent flowers may stimulate further blooms in warmer climates; cut back to the ground in late fall or early winter after seedheads have finished

Propagation:  division (easiest), early summer softwood cuttings

Sources:  many online and local specialty nurseries

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