Sweet Goldenrod (Solidago odora) Goldenrod produces a showy, bloom-like cluster of small yellow blossoms which bloom between July and October. (Many people are allergic to Goldenrod in the fields - so beware if you are and skip this one) It is found in dry open woods, on the fringes of old fields and roadways. The crushed leaves have a sweet anise-like odor. The leaves are parallel veined, slender, toothless and smooth with tiny transparent dots when held up to the sky. It is found almost everywhere in the United States.
Dried goldenrod make great tinder for starting fires in the dead of winter. A strong tea can be made from the dried leaves as well. It tastes anise flavored. Shredded leaves can also be added to salads for the flavor or garnish. Mixed with rose hip or mint tea is very beneficial and tasty.
A poultice made of steeped goldenrod leaves, strained and mixed with tallow, takes the pain and swelling of bee stings down quickly. A tea made with young flowers makes a good mouthwash, or general skin wash. The tea is good to aid digestion and minimize gas.