Columnist Marlene Link asks what plant is the real culprit.

Is goldenrod taking a bad rap for your sneezing? Or is the real culprit ragweed?

Found growing side by side, goldenrod is unfairly blamed for most pollen allergens coming from ragweed.

Ragweed is an annual broadleaf weed with ragged looking leaves that resemble the artemisia plant.

Ragweed’s pollen is spread by the wind, whereas goldenrod is pollinated by pollinators like bees and butterflies. Goldenrod has bright yellow flower clusters and ragweed has a greenish-yellow spiked flower.

Goldenrod and ragweed are two different species and do not share the same genus or tribe.

So when goldenrod is in bloom, remember it’s the ragweed pollen blowing in the wind that is making you sneeze. Now you can enjoy the fall colour of goldenrod in your garden and help the pollinators store up food for winter.

Why not join other happy gardeners and would-be gardeners at our next Program Night, Thursday, Oct. 17? Our featured speaker is Raj Gill of Lake Erie Alive, speaking on the current state of health of Lake Erie, and how we can protect it.

The Dunnville Hort Society meets every third Thursday at the Optimist Club Hall, 101 Main St. from 7 to 9 p.m. Or visit us online at our Facebook page or website For questions or comments, contact Deb Zynomirski (president) at 416-566-9337 or

Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

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