Goldenrod Galls

Goldenrod GallsThree goldenrod gall flies have made homes in the stems of goldenrod in the field. I never knew what these bulbous things were and finally asked a colleague who enlightened me. Although they look like they would kill its host, the plants don’t seem to mind. Downy woodpeckers and chickadees consider the larva a tasty treat.

© Sheila Creighton 2016

4 thoughts on “Goldenrod Galls

  1. I spent quite some time last fall trying to figure out a different kind of goldenrod gall. Finally, in a frenzy of scientific curiosity, I opened one up and got a photo of a larva. I don’t have a macro lens, so the photos aren’t especially good, but it gives you a sense of the size. “My” galls were about the size of a small blueberry.

  2. When I was learning about ancient formulae for paints and inks in the early years of my work as a calligrapher, I found that galls—especially oak galls—were a great source to grind into powder for the ink used on illuminated manuscripts.

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