USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York. Vol. 3: 387.
Where Commonly Found: Meadows, fields, disturbed sites, CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VT.
How to Identify:
(For unfamiliar words: Wikipedia Glossary of Botanical Terms).
Go Botany Key to Solidago speciosa.
Missouri Botanical Garden webpage for Solidago speciosa.
Flower Type: The showy panicle inflorescence is up to 12″ long, made up of small, gold, compound flowers. Unlike most goldenrods, the flowering stem remains erect or curved upwards. Compound flowers are about 1/4″ across with 4-10 ray irregular florets around the disk florets, opening at varying times, mid-July to late September, sometimes with mild fragrance.
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate leaves on a usually unbranched smooth central, green or red, stem
Leaf Type: Leaves are up to 6″ long and 1/5″ across, becoming smaller up the stem, narrowly lanceolate or oblong-elliptic with smooth margins and largely hairless. The upper part of the plant often has small, wing-like, leaves developing from the upper axils of the primary leaves.
Height: 2′ – 3′
Seed Collection: Achenes develop small tufts of hairs for wind dispersal. Each stalks produces a large amount of seed, ripe when the hairs are white. Cut the seed head off the stalk. To clean, rub the seed head against hardware screen over a tub.
Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Light: Full Sun
Hardiness Zone: 3 to 8 USDA Zone Map
Soils: Dry to Moist
Notes: Showy Goldenrod is of special value to bees and butterflies. This is the showiest of the goldenrods but still spreads somewhat aggressively through rhizomes and self-seeding, so carefully watch in your naturalizing garden.
Native to Northeast (except ME), Mid-Atlantic, Southeast (except FL), South and Mid-West. Biota of North America Program (BONAP) – North America Plant Atlas (NAPA).