Skip Navigation

Species Search:
FieldGuidesthreatened and/or endangered search resultsthreatened and/or endangered

previous  | next

Rough-stemmed Goldenrod Solidago rugosa


enlarge +

Rough-stemmed Goldenrod
credit: John Yawo (John Barber)/CCSA

All Images


Get Our Newsletters


Advanced Search

Alternate name: Wrinkle-leaf Goldenrod, Rough-leaf Goldenrod

Family: Asteraceae, Aster view all from this family

Description Tall, rough, hairy stem bears divergent, or arching, branches with small, light yellow flower heads concentrated on the upper side.
Habit: native perennial herb; thickened crown and slender rhizomes; clump-forming; with 1-50 or more erect, tapering, hairy stems, light green to reddish-brown; hairy, wrinkled leaves; highly variable appearance.
Height: 1-8 ft (.3-2.4 m)
Leaf: alternate, wrinkled, rough, hairy, with 1 central vein; ovate, pointed, toothed, to 4 in (10 cm) long, to 1.5 in (4 cm) wide; largest leaves at mid-stem; leaves at base usually stalked, wither by flowering; becoming stalkless above.
Flower: small, pale yellow to gold, rayless flowerhead, about 1/8" (3 mm) wide and 1/4" (6 mm) high; held in linear cluster, 4-6 in (10-15 cm) long, on one side of arching branch.
Fruit: tiny dry seed, hairy, to 1/12 in (2 mm); tipped with soft bristles to 1/10 in (2.5 mm) long.

Flower July to November.

Flower September

Habitat Moist sites in full sun or light shade, with sandy, slightly acid soil: streambanks, hammocks, pinelands, bayheads, damp thickets, wet prairies, sand dunes; also in open upland woods, roadsides, fields; also culitivated as an ornamental.

Range Native to eastern and central North America, from Labrador south to Florida, west to Texas, north to Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and Ontario.

Discussion Also known as: wrinkleleaf goldenrod, roughstem goldenrod. Two subspecies are recognized apart from the species. This highly variable goldenrod can form large masses in fields that were once cultivated. Physicians in ancient times believed that goldenrod had healing powers; in recent times these plants have been popularly blamed for causing hay fever, but its irritating symptoms are actually caused by ragweed (Ambrosia species), whose pollen is abundant when goldenrod is in flower.

Comments This is a variable species and is divided into two subspecies, the typical one subdivided into three varieties.

Exposure Preference Sun.

Native Distribution Newfoundland. to Georgia, w. to Michigan, Missouri & Texas

Site Preference Low woods; meadows; old fields; pine barrens; bogs

Soil Preference Most well-drained soils.