It is that time of year when old fields across western Pennsylvania are painted yellow.
Collected on September 15, 1946, this specimen was found in New Baltimore, Somerset County by an influential curator of botany at the museum, Otto Jennings. There are many species of goldenrod (in the genus Solidago) in our region. They are often associated with runny noses and sneezing from fall allergies (hay fever), but don’t blame the goldenrods!
Their relatively heavy pollen rarely becomes air-borne, but rather these plants are insect-pollinated. Wind-pollinated species, like ragweed, are more likely your culprit. This specimen pictured here (split between two herbarium sheets) is Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis).
Canada goldenrod is a fall-blooming, native species common throughout western Pennsylvania. However, it was introduced to Europe and Asia for use in floral arrangements and gardens and has since become an invasive weed in other parts of the world.
Botanists at Carnegie Museum of Natural History share pieces of the herbarium’s historical hidden
collection on the dates they were discovered or collected. Check back for more!