gray goldenrod

(Solidago nemoralis)

gray goldenrod

Gray goldenrod, also known as field goldenrod or old-field goldenrod, is a late summer perennial forb. It occurs in the United States and southern Canada east of the Rocky Mountains but is most common eat of the Great Plains. It is found in upland prairies, hill prairies, meadows, savannas, open woodlands, and disturbed sites, including abandoned fields, fencerows, roadsides, and railroads. It grows under full sun in dry to moderately dry soil, especially in clay, sandy, or gravelly soil where there is reduced competition from other plants.


Gray goldenrod is one of the smallest goldenrods. It rises on 1 to 6 stems, sometimes more, from a short-branched, woody, ground-level stem (caudex).

The stem is erect, 6″ to 30″ (15 to 76 cm) in height, unbranched, and green or reddish-green. it is densely covered with short grayish or whitish hairs making the stem appear grayish.

The leaves are alternate, lance-shaped, usually ¾″ to 3¾″ long. The margins are smooth or slightly toothed. The leaf blades are covered with fine, grayish or whitish hairs, making them appear grayish. The grayish stems and leaves are the features that gives this species its common name.

The inflorescence is a 4″ to 10″ long, wand-like array at the top of the stem that usually arches downward. It has 10 to 300 flower heads appearing all on one side. The flowers bloom from late summer to early fall.

Each flower is small, yellow, and tube-shaped at the base with 5 lobes at the tip.

The fruit is a 1.5 to 2 mm long, dry, one-seeded achene with a tuft of white hairs at the top.


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 Nemorales  

Subordinate Taxa


gray goldenrod (Solidago nemoralis ssp. nemoralis)

gray goldenrod (Solidago nemoralis ssp. decemflora)






Common Names


dyer’s-weed goldenrod

dyersweed goldenrod

field goldenrod

gray goldenrod

gray-stem goldenrod

gray-stemmed goldenrod

old field goldenrod

old-field goldenrod











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    gray goldenrod      



  Solidago nemoralis OLD FIELD GOLDENROD
Frank Mayfield
  Solidago nemoralis OLD FIELD GOLDENROD  



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Afton State Park

Agassiz Dunes SNA (MN DNR)

Badoura Jack Pine Woodland SNA

Blaine Preserve SNA

Blanket Flower Prairie SNA

Blazing Star Prairie Addition Preserve, South Unit

Bonanza Prairie SNA

Charles A. Lindbergh State Park

Clifton E. French Regional Park

Cottonwood River Prairie SNA

Crow Wing State Park

Crow-Hassan Park Reserve

Des Moines River SNA

Dry Sand WMA

Felton Prairie SNA, Bicentennial Unit

Glacial Lakes Preserve

Glacial Lakes State Park

Glendalough State Park

Grey Cloud Dunes SNA

Hayes Lake State Park

Holthe Prairie SNA

Kasota Prairie SNA

Kellogg Weaver Dunes SNA, Weaver Dunes Unit

Lake Bronson State Park

Leif Mountain

Margherita Preserve-Audubon Prairie

McKnight Prairie

Minnesota Valley NWR, Louisville Swamp Unit

Mississippi River County Park

Mound Prairie SNA

Mound Spring Prairie SNA, North Unit

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Spieker Unit

Old Mill State Park

Oronoco Prairie SNA

Ottawa Bluffs

Pankratz Memorial Prairie, North Unit

Pembina Trail Preserve SNA, Crookston Prairie Unit

Pembina Trail Preserve SNA, Pembina Trail Unit

Red Rock Prairie

Regal Meadow

River Terrace Prairie SNA

Sand Prairie Wildlife Management and Environmental Education Area

Sandpiper Prairie SNA

Santee Prairie SNA

Savage Fen SNA

Schaefer Prairie

Seven Sisters Prairie

Sheepberry Fen

Sibley State Park

Strandness Prairie

Thorson Prairie WMA

Twin Lakes SNA

Twin Valley Prairie Addition

Twin Valley Prairie SNA

Twin Valley WMA: North Unit

Two Rivers Aspen Prairie Parkland SNA

Verlyn Marth Memorial Prairie SNA

Wahpeton Prairie WMA

Whitewater State Park

Wild River State Park

Yellow Bank Hills SNA







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