Small golden spires are scattered across a coastal bluff. This little plant has soft gray-green leaves and many bright yellow flowers. California goldenrod (Solidago velutina) is an occasional sight in this area but I stumbled into a patch of it recently along the bluffs near Palomarin.
This is one of the late-blooming flowers of the season, flowering mostly from August through October. It’s often blamed for hay fever, but that may be a myth–supposedly ragweed and other plants are more likely culprits.
Goldenrod was used by Native Americans to keep hair from falling out, and also as a poultice or wash for sores, burns, toothaches and “feminine hygiene”.