Goldenrod , (solidago, Linn.), the name of numerous plants, whose showy heads of flowers, waving like golden wands, make bright and gay the sides of roads, hills, and gravelly banks in the autumn. A supposed efficacy in the plants suggested to the early botanists the name solidago, from Lat. solidare, to make firm. Although the general appearance of the ra-cemed or else corymbed heads, which bear the florets, is diverse, yet the flowers themselves differ only from the asters in the smaller heads of (except in one species) yellow flowers. The genus is mostly North American, there being about 80 species, all of which but three or four belong to this country. The most common European species is S. virgaurea, with a low, terete, pubescent stem, which branches above; the lower leaves are elliptical, somewhat hairy, acutely serrate, the flower heads in thyrsoid racemes. It grows in thickets and woods, and formerly was much used in medicine. Its principle is astringent and tonic; the leaves and flowers, however, were thought aperient. It occurs in the northern regions of America, but under very dissimilar forms.

Of these, a dwarf kind, only a few inches high, with obo-vate or lanceolate, mostly entire leaves, and a few large flowers, is the variety which Dr. Bigelow calls alpina; it occurs in the alpine regions of New Hampshire, of Maine, and of New York, and on the shore of Lake Superior. A second distinct variety is humilis, on the rocky banks of western Vermont, Lakes Huron and Superior, and northward; and a sub-variety with larger and broader leaves, the flower heads in ample, compound racemes, the flower rays occasionally white instead of yellow, is to be met with on gravelly banks of streams at the base of the White mountains in New Hampshire. A similar but distinct species is S. thyrsoidea (Meyer), which occurs on the wooded sides of mountains from Maine to odora, Ait.), with a slender stem 2 to 3 ft. high, often reclined; the leaves linear-lanceolate, entire, shining, covered with pellucid dots, which secrete a delicious anisate oil; the flower heads in racemes spreading in a one-sided panicle, the flower rays rather large and conspicuous. It may be occasionally found in rich shady woods. An essence distilled from the leaves has been used to relieve spasmodic pains.

One of the earliest indications of the approach of autumn is in the flowers of S. bicolor, or white goldenrod, the only species which has white flowers. Next comes into yellow bloom the tall Canadian goldenrod (S. Canadensis), and following this, the gigantic goldenrod (S. gigantea), and the tall goldenrod (S. altissima), names singularly misapplied, as the altitude of both is not unusual. Afterward may be seen S. arguta and other species, until the lingering florets upon the downy goldenrod (S. nemora-lis) indicate the near approach of the cold. The goldenrods generally affect dry and sterile soils, though some are found in bogs and moist places, and range from alpine heights to the very margin of the sea, where may be seen S. sempervirens, with its large, thick, shining green leaves, and bold, large-rayed, and conspicuous yellow flowers, and the narrow-leaved (S. tenuifolia, Pursh), having very small, crowded heads of inconspicuous flowers. Several species are peculiar to the western states, as S. Ohioensis (Riddel) and S. Biddelii (Frank.), in moist meadows and grassy prairies; and others, as S. Drummondii (Torr. and Gray), upon rocks, in common with more ordinary ones, indicating a wide distribution of the genus.

GOLDEN SEAL. See Puccoon. GOLDFINCH (fringilla carduelis, Linn.), one of the handsomest of the European fringillidoe, valued as a cage bird both for its beauty, its song, and its docility. It is about 5 in. long, with an extent of wings of 9 in.: the forehead and throat are crimson; the loral space, top of the head, and a semicircular band on the upper neck black; the hind neck and back are umber brown, passing into ochre yellow on the rump; sides of breast and flanks paler, and white below; smaller wing coverts black, secondary rich yellow; most of the quills black with white tips, except the basal half of the outer webs, which are yellow; tail black, white tipped. The female is smaller, with less crimson, pure black, and bright colors in the plumage. Like all caged birds, the goldfinch sometimes shows considerable differences in color. It will pair and produce progeny with the green linnet. Its food consists of the seeds of the thistles, grasses, and herbaceous plants, which it seeks in small flocks. Its song, which is sweet and varied, usually begins in Great Britain about the end of March and continues until July; its flight is quick and buoyant, like that of the linnet.

The nest is elaborately made of the usual materials, and lined with wool and hair; the eggs, about five, are three quarters of an inch long, of a bluish white color, with brown tinges and purplish spots. It remains in Scotland through the winter, though great numbers perish in severe seasons. The goldfinch is easily caught and tamed, and may be taught the notes of other birds and many amusing tricks; it is a great favorite both in England and America as a cage bird. - For the American goldfinches, of the genus chrysomitris (Boie), see Yellow Bird.

Goldenrod (Solidago Canadensis).

Goldenrod (Solidago Canadensis).

New York and northward. Perhaps the most interesting species is the sweet goldenrod (S.

Goldfinch (Fringilla carduelis).

Goldfinch (Fringilla carduelis).

GOLD FISH or Golden Carp (cyprinus aura-tus, Linn.), a native of China, but introduced into Europe early in the 17th century. In China gold fish are to be found in almost every house, and are kept either in porcelain vessels or in artificial ponds; wherever known they are prized for their beauty, elegant form, grace of motion, and docility; they are very easily kept alive in small vessels, if due attention be paid to changing the water daily. The usual color is bright orange above, lighter on the sides, and whitish beneath; the scales are large and striated; the pupils are black, and the iris silvery; the mouth is small and toothless; the dorsal fin is single, with the first two rays spinous. The colors vary exceedingly by domestication, and exhibit almost every variety of orange, purple, and silvery; the fins vary considerably, as regards the size of the dorsal and the number of the anals; triple tails are common, in which case the dorsal is frequently absent. The silver fish is a mere variety, and the dark colors are the marks of the young fish. It is found in many ponds in New England, bearing well the severity of the winters, and breeding in great numbers when protected from other fish.

Gold fish form one of the most interesting ornaments of private gardens, and are seen everywhere in the basins of the fountains of large cities in the summer season. Their food is chiefly infusorial animalcules, with bread when in confinement; their flesh is not esteemed as food. The intensity of the colors and several of their external characters are modified by their food, and the new characters are transmitted to the offspring. In artificial ponds they are taught to come to the surface at the ringing of a bell. They will live in foul water, and a long time out of water on account of the loose structure of their gills; in ponds the spawn and young fish are often eaten by their larger comrades; their life may be prolonged to 20 or 80 years, and they will bear great extremes of heat and cold. In common with many fresh-water fish, they are attacked and sometimes destroyed by a parasitic fungus, arising from any diseased surface, and even from the healthy tissue of the gills.

Gold Fish (Cyprinus auratus).

Gold Fish (Cyprinus auratus).