Goldenrod and ragweed bloom around the same time in the fall and often grow together. Goldenrod's flowers are deep yellow, but ragweed's flowers are tiny, pale green, and blend it with its leaves. When ragweed releases its pollen, people mistakenly blame goldenrod because it's so visible.
But goldenrod's pollen is heavy and sticky and spread only by insects. Unless you put your nose right into a goldenrod plant and sniff, you shouldn't be affected by its pollen. On the other hand, ragweed's pollen is lightweight and spread by the wind.
Goldenrod is the state flower of both Kentucky and Nebraska.
Goldenrod is the state wildflower for South Carolina and Sweet Goldenrod is the state herb of Delaware.
Goldenrod is also the name of a color: defined as "a strong to vivid yellow."
I took the photographs of goldenrod and ragweed for this article. ~~~ Burntchestnut