Canada goldenrod

(Solidago canadensis var. canadensis)

Conservation Status

 

No image available

 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Canada goldenrod (var. canadensis) is a 12 to 78 tall, though usually no more than 60 tall, erect to ascending, perennial forb that rises on 1 to 20 or more stems from long, creeping rhizomes. It often forms large, dense patches. The roots and leaves exude toxic chemicals that inhibit the growth and survival of competing species (allelopathy).

The stem is erect and leafy. It is not shiny and not covered with a whitish, waxy bloom (glaucous). The lower half of the stem is hairless or sparsely hairy. The upper half is densely covered with short hairs.

There are no basal leaves. Stem leaves are alternate, narrowly lance-shaped, and thin. Lower to middle stem leaves are 2 to 7½ long and 3 16 to 13 16 wide. The leaf blade is distinctly 3-veined. It tapers to the base and is attached to the stem without a leaf stalk. It tapers to a point at the tip with concave sides along the tip. The upper surface is hairless or slightly rough due to the presence of short, stiff hairs. The lower surface is sometimes hairless but usually has hairs along the midrib and main veins. The margins are toothed with sharp, forward-pointing teeth. Lower to middle stem leaves are usually withered by the time the plant is in flower. Middle to upper stem leaves are similar, 13 16 to 4¾<. long, and 5 16 to ½ wide, largest near the middle, becoming gradually smaller as they ascend the stem. The margins are toothed, minutely toothed, or sometimes untoothed just below the inflorescence.

The inflorescence is a pyramidal, open, many-branched, spreading cluster up to 10 across with 150 to 1300 flower heads. The flowering branches are long, hairy and strongly bent backward. The flower heads are arranged on one side of the branch.

The tiny flower heads are less than ¼ wide. They have 7 to 18, usually 15 or fewer, yellow ray florets and 3 to 6 yellow disk florets. The whorl of bracts surrounding the base of the flower head (involucre) is 1 16 to long and yellowish in color. The corolla is 1 16 to long.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

12 to 78

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Yellow ray florets, yellow disk florets

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Early goldenrod (Solidago juncea) stems are hairless.

Giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea) stems are hairless and sometimes covered with a whitish, waxy bloom.

Harger’s goldenrod (Solidago canadensis var. hargeri) stem is moderately hairy both above and below the middle, though it may be hairless or nearly hairless very near the base. The flower heads tend to have fewer ray florets, 5 to 10, averaging 9, and have fewer disk florets, 2 to 4. It has been recorded only in Grant County in western Minnesota.

Missouri goldenrod (Solidago missouriensis) is a shorter plant, no more than 32 tall. The stem is hairless below the inflorescence. Lower stem leaves are on winged leaf stalks up to 2 long. The leaves are somewhat thickened and stiff, not thin. They become noticeably smaller toward the top of the stem. The upper and lower leaf surfaces are hairless. A tight bundle of small, wing-like leaves often appear in the leaf axils. The flower heads have 8 to 20 disk florets.

Tall goldenrod (Solidago altissima ssp. altissima) is moderately to densely hairy both above and below the middle. There are often large insect galls on the lower and middle part of the stem. Fresh plants often have a gray-green tone from the short hairs on the leaf surfaces. The plant is usually hairy throughout. The leaves are relatively thick and firm. The involucre is longer, to 3 16 long.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moist to dry. Prairies, fields, ditches, roadsides, and forest openings. Full to partial sun.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

August to October

 
     
 

Pests and Diseases

 
 

 

 
     
 

Defense Mechanisms

 
 

Canada goldenrod produces chemicals that help it compete against nearby plants (allelopathy). The roots and leaves exude toxic chemicals that inhibit the growth and survival of competing plants. The effect has been documented repeatedly in the lab but is less evident in the field.

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

4, 7, 28.

 
  9/17/2017      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  
 

Order

Asterales (sunflowers, bellflowers, fanflowers, and allies)  
 

Family

Asteraceae (sunflowers, daisies, asters, and allies)  
  Subfamily Asteroideae  
  Supertribe Asterodae  
  Tribe Astereae (asters and allies)  
  Genus Solidago (goldenrod)  
  Section Solidago  
  Subsection Triplinerviae  
  Species Solidago canadensis (Canada goldenrod)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

 

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Canada goldenrod

Canadian goldenrod

Common goldenrod

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Allelopathy

The release of a chemical toxin by one plant to inhibit the growth or germination of nearby competing plants.

 

Bracts

Modified leaves at the base of a flower stalk or flower cluster.

 

Corolla

A collective name for all of the petals of a flower.

 

Glaucous

Pale green or bluish gray due to a whitish, powdery or waxy film, as on a plum or a grape.

 

Involucre

A whorl of bracts beneath or surrounding a flower or flower cluster.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

       
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