The licorice-like smell is from the Sweet Goldenrod, whose bright plumes join more than two-dozen other goldenrod species to paint fields and roadsides yellow and gold each fall. But Sweet Goldenrod does more than delight the eye and tickle the nose. It might even be considered a patriot.
Back during the Revolution, when the supply of tea from the “motherland” was cut off, colonists turned to native plants to produce a hot beverage. Called Blue Mountain tea, the brew made from dried sweet goldenrod flowers and leaves was a tasty substitute for Chinese varieties.
And it may be good for you, too. Goldenrods have long been used as tonics and medicines. In fact, their scientific name, Solidago, means “to make whole” or heal.