Fred Delmar was a Harvard-educated lawyer with a once promising career. Until the law firm which employed him went bankrupt and left him unemployed. His trouble at securing a new job soon depleted his savings. Having to support a wife and a newborn child further strained his finances. He was becoming desperate for money when an old acquaintance called him. Delmar was offered the position of test subject for the Ollins Medical Lab. He soon agreed and was led to believe the experiments would not affect his health in the long-term.
The first drug Delmar tested was Nuvafed, supposed to treat allergic reactions. Delmar was injected with it and collapsed soon after. He was taken to surgery but died during the operation. The Medical Lab contacted a cover-up ensuring nobody learned of the test subject's death. His body was thrown in a field of grass and abandoned there. But death was followed by rebirth. The drug reacted with the vegetation surrounding the body and transformed Delmar into a plant creature. Delmar awoke with a newfound passion for revenge. He relentlessly pursued the persons responsible for his death and ensured they suffered the same fate.
Goldenrod also had to face a local hero determined to stop his killing rampage, Firestorm. He gained a cheap victory at first by attacking Firestorm's eyes and leaving the vigilante blind with pain. In their second encounter, Firestorm managed to appeal to Delmar's lost humanity. Delmar's personality resurfaced and was disgusted with his new condition. He chose to discorporate his physical form, effectively committing suicide. Only a cloud of pollen remained, blown away by the wind.
Goldenrod's plant body produced grains of pollen which could cause allergic reactions to any given target. He could leave victims blind like Firestorm or increase the dose to have fatal results. He could use parts of his body to seed an area with new plants which would rapidly grow. His plant control abilities allowed him to have these plants attack or entrap his targets. His body remained alive by force of will and he could discorporate it by mental command. It is uncertain if his pollen remains can produce descendants.