Skip Navigation

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

previous  | next

Showy Goldenrod Solidago speciosa


enlarge +

Showy Goldenrod
credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Shelburne National Wildlife Refuge

All Images


Get Our Newsletters


Advanced Search

Family: Asteraceae, Aster view all from this family

Description A stout stem, smooth below and rough above, bearing a dense, pyramidal or club-shaped, terminal cluster of small yellow flower heads.
Habit: native perennial herb; usually one stiff, reddish, leafy stem; tightly packed clumps may resemble one multi-stem plant; rhizomatous.
Height: 1-7 ft (0.1-2 m)
Leaf: at base, smooth, lanceolate to elliptic, pointed, 2-12 in (5-30 cm) long, 0.5-3 in (1-8 cm) wide; on lower stem, alternate, may wither by flowering; upper stem, becoming narrowly, smaller, fewer, stalkless.
Flower: tiny yellow flowers with sticky bracts; held in tight, terminal, hairy cluster, branched, usually cone-shaped, 2-18 in (5-45 cm) long, 1-5 in (2-12 cm) wide.
Fruit: tiny dry seed, oval, to 0.1 in (2.5 mm) long; tipped with many white bristles, to .2 in (4.5 mm) long.

Flower August to October.

Flower August - September

Habitat Sunny sites with dry, well-drained soil: sandy prairies, open pine forest, forest edges, meadows, clearings, and roadcuts.

Range Native to eastern and central North America, form New Hampshire to Georgia, west to New Mexico, north to Wyoming, North Dakota, and Ontario; not reported in Alabama.

Discussion Also known as: showy-wand goldenrod, noble goldenrod. Four varieties are recognized apart from the species. Threatened in Maryland. This is one of the showiest of about 125 species of goldenrod that occur throughout the United States; they are most common in the East.

Comments This very showy goldenrod can become aggressive in moist soils.

Exposure Preference Sun to partial sun .

Native Distribution Massachusetts to Georgia mts., w. to Wyoming & Texas

Site Preference Open woods; prairies

Soil Preference Rocky or clay soils.

Wildlife Value This species attracts butterflies.