Monarch butterflies in pollinating stage particularly love goldenrod, which is mistakenly thought of as a prime allergen for hay fever sufferers. (Justine Kibbe Photo) Purple ironweed is another monarch butterfly favorite. (FIConservancy Photo)

There is a golden haze over parts of the meadows in FIConservancy’s restored grasslands. The Parade Grounds are filled with yellow goldenrod and purple ironweed, both preferred plants of the monarch butterfly in its pollinating stage.

It’s no wonder that monarch butterflies are attracted to the meadows: Milkweed in early summer for the caterpillar stage, and goldenrod and ironweed in late summer for the butterflies.

Contrary to popular opinion, goldenrod is not the enemy of hay fever sufferers. Rather, it is the ubiquitous ragweed (image below) that is the serious offender.

Ragweed is the prime source of fall allergies in North America. Photo