Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Solidago altissima L.
- Family: Aster (Asteraceae)
- Flowering: August-November
- Field Marks: This goldenrod differs from other similar species by the combination of leaves
with 3 major veins, stems hairy, and leaves lanceolate with sharp teeth.
- Habitat: Moist or dry soils in old fields, along roads, open woods.
- Habit: Perennial herb with elongated rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, hairy, usually unbranched, up to 8 feet tall.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, lanceolate, pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, with 3 major
veins, usually sharply toothed, rough on the upper surface, hairy on the lower surface, up to 6
inches long, up to 1 inch wide; uppermost leaves smaller and sessile.
- Flowers: Crowded together into heads up to 1/4 inch high, with many heads forming a panicle;
heads borne on one side of the arching branches; flowers yellow, of 2 kinds: some flat and ray-like, others tubular and forming a disk.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: Yellow, 9-15 of them ray-like, notched at the tip; those in the center forming a disk,
- Stamens: 5.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior.
- Fruits: Achenes up to 1/12 inch long, sparsely hairy, bearing soft bristles at the tip.
- Notes:This goldenrod often grows in colonies because of its extensive rhizome system. The
lowest leaves are usually absent at flowering time.
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