elm-leaved goldenrod

(Solidago ulmifolia var. ulmifolia)

Conservation Status
elm-leaved goldenrod
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed


Elm-leaved goldenrod is a 1 to 5 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on a single, sometimes two, stems from a branching, woody caudex.

The stems are erect, leafy, hairless or nearly hairless below the inflorescence, sparsely hairy in the inflorescence.

The basal leaves, when present, and lower stem leaves are thin, egg-shaped to lance-shaped, 2 to 6 long but usually no more than 4 long, and 1 to 2 wide but usually no more than 1½ wide. They appear similar to the leaves of American elm, giving this plant its common name, but are smoother and thinner. They taper gradually to a point at the tip with straight sides along the tip. They taper at the base to a short, winged leaf stalk. The margins have sharp, forward-pointing teeth. The upper surface is sparsely hairy and may be rough to the touch. The lower surface is hairy along the main veins. They often wither by the time the plant flowers. Stem leaves are alternate. Middle and upper stem leaves are attached to the stem without leaf stalks or on very short leaf stalks. They are untoothed, lance-shaped, ¾ to 2 long, and from a little less than ¼ to ¾ wide, becoming gradually smaller as they ascend the stem.

The inflorescence is a panicle-like inflorescence of a just a few widely-spreading flowering branches with 20 to 150 flower heads. The branches are long, slender, backward-arching, and have flowers on only one side.

The flower heads have 3 to 6 yellow ray florets and 4 to 7 yellow disk florets.




1 to 5


Flower Color


Yellow ray florets surrounding yellow disk florets


Similar Species


Rough-leaved goldenrod (Solidago patula) is similar but with rougher leaves. It does not occur in Minnesota.


Dry. Sandy or rocky soils. Open woods, stream banks, bluffs, pond margins, old fields, pastures, roadsides.




July to October


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28, 29, 30.









  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  


Asterales (sunflowers, bellflowers, fanflowers, and allies)  


Asteraceae (sunflowers, daisies, asters, and allies)  
  Subfamily Asteroideae  
  Supertribe Asterodae  
  Tribe Astereae (asters and allies)  
  Subtribe Solidagininae  
  Genus Solidago (goldenrods)  
  Subgenus Pleiactila  
  Section Venosae  
  Subsection Ulmifoliae  
  Species Solidago ulmifolia (elm-leaved goldenrod)  

There are three varieties of Solidago ulmifolia. Only var. ulmifolia occurs in Minnesota.


Subordinate Taxa






Solidago helleri


Common Names


elmleaf goldenrod

elm-leaf goldenrod

elm-leaved goldenrod










A pyramidal inflorescence with a main stem and branches. Flowers on the lower, longer branches mature earlier than those on the shorter, upper ones.


Winged leaf stalk

A leaf-like or membrane-like extension along both sides of the leaf stalk.

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