Fields of Gold in the Midwest

If you've seen farm fields covered in yellow "flowers", you're not alone.

Posted: May 15, 2019 6:00 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - We've been getting a lot of questions about this particular plant called "butterweed".

Now today we did some digging, and we're here to tell you what we found out.

Today News 10 talked to Dr. Peter Coppinger, a Biologist at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

He says this plant called "butterweed" will show up this time of year all over the valley.

While this weed can show up anywhere, fields are the most common places.

He says this is a pollinator plant.

It's good for insects and causes no harm to humans.

Farmers, be aware, it can be toxic to your livestock.

"Typically we find these in very moist soils, where there are swamps, at the side of the road. So it has to have that moisture in the soil. As soon as it gets hot and dries out, these are gone."

Now some of you might think that this is the reason you're having all these allergies right now, but that's not the case. This pollen, Coppinger says, is too big and too sticky to affect us.

This plant is sometimes mistaken for another plant called "goldenrod".

The differences between the two, butterweed has a hollow stem, and goldenrod only shows up in the fall.

So enjoy the beauty of these fields while they're here, because one long stretch of dry sunny days and they'll all be gone.

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