showy goldenrod

(Solidago speciosa var. speciosa)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

showy goldenrod (var. speciosa)

NatureServe

N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

 

Habitat

Dry to moderate moisture. Open woods, fields, prairies, and plains. Full sun. Sandy or loamy soil.

Flowering

Late July or early August to early October

 
Flower Color

Yellow ray flowers, yellow disk flowers

 
Height

8 to 60

 
 
Identification

This is a 8 to 60 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on 1 to 5 stems from a stout, woody caudex in mature plants, from rhizome in young plants. It tends to form clumps.

The stems are erect, leafy, green or reddish, hairless from the base to the inflorescence, and minutely hairy in the inflorescence.

Basal and stem leaves are dark green and are not glaucous. Stem leaves are alternate, smooth to the touch, not crowded, and not firm. Basal and lower stem leaves are broad, inversely lance-shaped or inversely egg-shaped, with the attachment at the narrow end. Basal leaves are 2 to 12 long including a short leaf stalk, and 1 to 2 wide. The margins are often coarsely toothed. They are usually present at flowering. The upper surface is almost hairless. Middle stem leaves are narrowly egg-shaped to lance-shaped or elliptic, 1 to 3½ long, and ¾ to 1 wide, becoming smaller as they ascend the stem. They are attached to the stem without a leaf stalk. The margins on the middle leaves are finely toothed, becoming untoothed near the top of the stem. The upper surface is hairless and smooth to the touch. On the upper half of the plant small, wing-like leaves appear in the leaf axils.

The inflorescence is a dense, 4 to 12 long, 1 to 3½ wide spike with 15 to 300 flower heads. The flowering stems of the inflorescence curve upward rather than out and down.

The flower head has 6 to 8 yellow ray florets and 7 to 9 yellow disk florets.

 
Similar
Species

The 12, showy flower spike makes this one of the more easily recognized goldenrod species.

Showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa var. rigidiuscula) has much narrower leaves. Basal leaves are usually absent at flowering. The stem leaves are rough to the touch, crowded, and firm.

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 4, 7.

 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Family:

Asteraceae (aster)

 

Subfamily:

Asteroideae

 

Supertribe:

Asterodae

 

Tribe:

Astereae (aster)

 

No Rank:

North American clade

 
Parent

showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa ssp. speciosa)

 
Synonyms

Solidago conferta

Solidago harperi

Solidago jejunifolia

Solidago speciosa var. angustata

Solidago speciosa var. jejunifolia

Solidago uliginosa var. jejunifolia

 
Common
Names

showy goldenrod

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Axil

The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.

 

Caudex

A short, sometimes woody, persistent stem, at or below ground level, from which aerial stems arise each year.

 

Glaucous

Covered with a whitish, waxy coating, as on a plum or a grape.

       
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Clump

  showy goldenrod (var. speciosa)   showy goldenrod (var. speciosa)
       
  showy goldenrod (var. speciosa)   showy goldenrod (var. speciosa)
       

Plant

  showy goldenrod (var. speciosa)   showy goldenrod (var. speciosa)
       
  showy goldenrod (var. speciosa)   showy goldenrod (var. speciosa)
       

Inflorescence

  showy goldenrod (var. speciosa)    
       
       

 

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