Shades of yellow to orange blaze for the end of the Ozark summer. The many goldenrods wave along the roads adding to the display.
All goldenrods are a similar color. All of them have small flowers many times in long lines. This makes it easy to lump the many goldenrods together.
There are more than twenty kinds of goldenrods. They have interesting common names like stiff, cliff, flat-topped, fragrant, blue-stemmed and elm-leaved.
Goldenrods are grouped with the asters because they have tube flowers and ray flowers. All are in the genus Solidago.
A number of goldenrods are short. They have a single stem and the many flowers are clustered around it or on short spurs from it.
The showy goldenrods are tall, up to seven or eight feet tall. These have the long branches lined with tiny flowers.
The flower branch arrangements are different. One has numerous long stems from the end of the main stalk. Another has little islands of flowers sticking out from the main stalk.
Old field goldenrods look like tall yellow party hats with the tips drooping. Tall goldenrod looks like a bushy long-haired cat’s tail.
Their leaves are different too. Some are long and thin. Others are shorted and fatter. Some have teeth.
The many goldenrods bloom at slightly different times providing a long golden display. Right now the tall goldenrod is blooming and the old field getting ready to replace it soon.
Insects are glad of this long blooming time. The flowers may be small but there are plenty of them so bees, wasps, butterflies, beetles and flies trample their ways up and down the flower chains.
Fall is coming into the Ozarks. With it will come the end of the golden display of the many goldenrods replaced by the blues and purples of asters.