watercolor and gouache painting
matted and framed (see photo)
Image size: 11.5 x 10 inches
Framed size: 19.25 x 17.625 inches
Contrary to popular belief, goldenrod is neither a worthless weed nor the cause of hayfever. Instead, it’s a beautiful native wildflower with enormous ecological value. This painting, based on a specimen found in my backyard, features one of the many associations between insects and Late goldenrod. Fly larvae (Procecidochares atra) induced the plant to form sixteen little rosette galls, which ornament the stem like green flowers. This goldenrod paid the price for spending so much energy creating galls; no golden blossoms beckoned to pollinators in late summer. Fortunately for Solidago altissima, it can also reproduce via underground rhizomes.