Recently I wrote (Oops!) about a plant in my new raised bed that was not what it was supposed to be. I had intended to plant Amsonia x ‘Blue Ice’ in this location, and instead had a much larger plant that I tentatively identified as Amsonia tabernaemontana. I assumed that the plant had either been mislabeled at the nursery or that I had inadvertently picked up the wrong plant from the nursery table.
Even as I tentatively identified my mistaken plant as A. tabernaemontana, I had some doubts about that identification. A few weeks ago, those doubts were confirmed when the plant started to make flower buds – definitely not Amsonia flowers (both wrong shape and wrong season). This past week, the flowers began to open and revealed themselves as a native Solidago (goldenrod).
Goldenrod grows readily on my property, mostly at the edges of the woods. So it is possible that this goldenrod grew from a seed that landed in this flower bed shortly after I created it last August. Because this is growing exactly where I planted the Amsonia plant from the nursery, however, and nowhere else in this flower bed, I think it is more likely that the Solidago seed hitchhiked on the Amsonia plant when I brought it home from the nursery and then simply outcompeted the Amsonia for space and nutrients.
I like using these showy native plants in the garden. This photo, for example, shows goldenrod blooming with Phlox paniculata ‘Blue Paradise’ in the blue and yellow border. So, although this Solidago plant definitely does not belong in my raised bed, I will be happy to move it to a more suitable location and to replace it with another Amsonia x ‘Blue Ice’ (and this time, I will be on the lookout for hitchhikers!)