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Tall Goldenrod Solidago altissima (Solidago canadensis var. scabra)


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Tall Goldenrod

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Family: Asteraceae, Aster view all from this family

Description Small yellow flower heads on outward-arching branches forming a pyramidal cluster atop a grayish, downy stem.
Habit: native perennial herb; 1-40 or more upright, finely hairy, leafy stems, usually unbranched; clumping with elongated rhizomes.
Height: 1.7-8 ft (0.5-3.4 m)
Leaf: on lower stem, alternate, gray-green, thick, rough, hairy beneath, lanceolate, pointed, with 3 pronounced veins, usually sharply toothed, stalked, 1-7 in (30-170 mm) long, .2-1 in (5-25 mm) wide; becoming smaller, fewer, less toothed, stalkless above.
Flower: tiny yellow-gold cylinder, to 1/4 in (6 mm) high; held on upper side of branches in tall, pyramidal, terminal cluster.
Fruit: tiny conical dry seed, tipped with bristles, combined .1-.2 in (3-5 mm) long.

Flower July to November.

Habitat Moist or dry soils in old fields, along roads, open woods; also cultivated as an ornamental.

Range throughout North America, except the northwest; not found in Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, western Canada, or Alaska.

Discussion Also known as late goldenrod, Canadian goldenrod, Canada goldenrod. Two subspecies appear in the literature; some sources equate it with Solidago canadensis. Possibly extirpated in Maine. Considered weedy or invasive in some areas.

Can be distinguished from other goldenrods by its 3-veined leaves, hairy stems, and lanceolate, usually sharply toothed leaves.

Two other similar species with arching flower stalks are Late Goldenrod (S. gigantea), smooth-stemmed, often with whitish bloom, and with flower heads to 1/4" (6 mm) long, and Canada Goldenrod (S. canadensis), with sharply toothed leaves and very small flower heads only 1/8" (3 mm) long.