About a dozen species of goldenrods bloom in Minnesota between July and October, but the peak of bloom comes in early to mid-September, when broad bands of goldenrod color are seen across the landscape. A variety of habitats -- old fields, prairies, hardwood forests, sandy soil, moist places -- are colonized by goldenrods.

Goldenrod flowers are bright yellow and have considerable nectar, so they are visited by bees, flies, beetles and butterflies. Their pollen, which is sticky and heavier than the typical windblown pollen, is carried by insects from flower to flower. Because very little goldenrod pollen gets into the air, these plants are not considered hay fever plants.

The use of goldenrods as summer and fall flowers in perennial gardens is becoming more popular. Also, some beekeepers locate their hives near fields of goldenrods, as the radiant flowers provide much nectar and remain conspicuous well into the twilight hours.