Along the Grapevine

Goldenrod Tea

15 Comments

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This beautiful and, yes, edible goldenrod (soldiago) is in full bloom just now and has transformed our local landscape into a mass of golden colour. Unfortunately it is often confused with another plant which is also plentiful just now – ragweed. You can see from these two photographs the differences in the plants. Both are in bloom. One is bright, the other relatively colourless. Also, the leaves on the first are elongated ovals while the second has lobed leaves.

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Ragweed is the source of much discomfort for people who are allergic to its pollen. Because the two plants occur in the same places at the same time, goldenrod is assumed to be equally noxious. It is not. The difference between the two, other than their appearance, is that ragweed has a light and abundant pollen which is easily carried through the air. Goldenrod, which has a heavy and sticky pollen, is pollenated by insects. So if you suffer from hay fever at this time of year, you know which one to blame it on. My advice is to eradicate as much of the ragweed as you can.

Not only is goldenrod not a noxious weed, it has many health benefits, one of which according to much of the literature I have been reading (for example this article) is its ability to counter the effects of allergies.

Once identified, goldenrod is easy to harvest. No worries about over harvesting this robust perennial, and the blooming period is relatively long in this area – from late August until the first frosts. Pick only the top third of the plant, and preferably young flowers which have not fully opened or are still bright yellow. Leaves and flowers can both be used. Just watch for insects – the pollinators love the stuff.

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When I first try a new plant, I always prefer a simple recipe to test the flavour, so here is yet another herbal tea. Begin by shaking any small insects out of the flowers and rinse lightly under the tap. To make, remove leaves and flowers from the stems. For each half cup of these, add two cups of boiling water and allow to steep for 20 minutes. Strain and serve.

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The flavour is substantial, slightly bitter and a bit smokey. I advise adding some honey or sugar as a sweetener and you will have yourself a very pleasant and healthful drink.

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This is a fine drink for any time of the day, but my experiments don’t stop with this. I feel that this flavour is capable of so much more than just a tisane, so I will be posting an ‘after five’ drink soon

Goldenrod Tea on Punk Domestics

Author: Hilda

I am a backyard forager who likes to share recipes using the wild edibles of our area.

15 thoughts on “Goldenrod Tea

  1. Never heard of this tea. How lucky to grow your own x

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  2. How unusual! Like Justine, I’ve never heard of this plant. Guess it’s never made it to Europe😦

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  3. Goldenrod Tea, is new to me too. The color is just beautiful!🙂

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  4. I’ve seen goldenrod a lot, but never knew it had potential for tea-making ? Very clever Hilda!

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  5. So unusual and what a beautiful color Hilda! Will be making a batch of chai tea spice mix.. Let me know if you would like to try it 😀.

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    • Thanks so much Sonal. Of course, I would love to try some. I was wanting to offer you some of my sumac pepper spice if you are interested. My daughter is visiting this weekend and if you email me your address I can send you some if you like.

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      • Sure I would love to Hilda.
        I am so sorry that I couldn’t reply to your email earlier, since my move to Dallas has taken forever. I am kind of settled now.
        Will be making fresh batches of some spice mixes. Will send some along if you are interested.
        When is your daughter visiting?

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  6. Pingback: Goldenrod Highball | Along the Grapevine

  7. I have never seen this before but it looks lovely!

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  8. I know we have ragweed everywhere here, but I think we have some goldenrod too. I’ll have to check that out! Thanks!

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  9. Pingback: Apple and Goldenrod Jelly | Along the Grapevine

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