My husband suffers from bad hay fever in the fall. We've always thought goldenrod is a major contributor. Recently we were told that ragweed, which looks similar, is more likely to cause the allergy and its related discomfort.
In our yard there are many plants with clusters of bright yellow flowers, which bloom in the late summer, early fall. They're lovely, and the birds, bees and butterflies like them. Assuming that they're goldenrod, and making my husband sick, I usually pull them shortly after they bloom. If indeed they are goldenrod, but not likely to be the allergen, I'd prefer to leave them until they've completely gone by. However, if they're ragweed, I'll know that I should pull them before the pollen flies.
I don't like removing any flowers, so understanding how to tell what they are would help me make an informed choice as to how to proceed next fall.
I'd appreciate a good definition of both goldenrod and ragweed, with some identifying characteristics, and links to pictures.
I'd also like to know if my own are goldenrod, ragweed, or both. Unfortunately, my pictures are very blurry, especially the flowers, so an identification may not be possible. I have a few other pictures with different views, but the quality isn't much better. They went by a number of weeks ago, so I can't get you anything new. Clicking on them will make them bigger and more close-up, in case that helps.