What Goldenrod is Hiding

If you walk through parts of the Blue Hills where trees give way to roads or fields, you’ll find goldenrod.  Since goldenrod is a native species, you would correctly assume that it provides excellent nutrition to insect pollinators and herbivores.  But you might not guess that goldenrod is the host site for a small bug called the goldenrod gall fly (Eurosta solidaginis).  The female injects its eggs into the stem.  When the larvae hatch, they begin to eat, producing a chemical in their saliva that creates a lump, or ‘gall’ that the larvae will live in.  The gall not only provides shelter but food as well.

To find them, visit some of the large stands of goldenrod and check for small lumps on the upper stems.  If you check inside you might even find the white larvae.

Leave a Reply

Want to hike the Blue Hills, but don't know where to begin? Click here for recommendations to the best hiking near Boston. If you're interested in hiking Boston and Boston hiking, the Blue Hills Reservation offers great hikes near Boston. If you want to go hiking around Boston, be sure to check our suggested Boston hikes in the Blue Hills. The Blue Hills also offers a good place to find a South Shore MA mountain biking trail and you'll enjoy great Boston birding and birding near Boston. You'll also find a great swimming hole south of Boston at the Blue Hills Reservation and in general, great family fun South Shore.