Bright invader making tracks to your garden

GOLDEN TOUCH: Solidago loves full sun.
GOLDEN TOUCH: Solidago loves full sun.
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When you see the words ‘can be invasive’ it’s usually enough to persuade people not to cultivate a certain plant for fear that it will eventually take over the garden.

A few years ago, I travelled on a train through America’s Montana and Wisconsin, and just about every time I looked out of the window, I saw the perfect example of one such plant – Solidago. Like a number of equally hardy and adventurous plants, it has flourished thanks to the help it has received from the railways.

But I have to admit that the golden flowers of Solidago (aka Goldenrod) looked superb, and if the ordinary gardener is willing to spend the time keeping it in check, then a named variety of this North American perennial is a worthy addition.

Avoid the likes of Solidago gigantea and S canadensis and plump instead for Solidago rugosa ‘Fireworks’, which is clump-forming but elegant, grows to height of five feet and which flowers for many weeks, often into late October. And – it’s not invasive.

‘Goldenmosa’ is even more compact, with small, bright yellow flowers with yellow stalks. Expect it to grow no higher than a couple of feet. Equally diminutive is ‘Crown of Rays’ (‘Strahlenkrone’) while ‘’Goldkind’ and ‘Golden Dwarf’ are even smaller.