Solidago riddellii  

Riddel's goldenrod    Perennial of the Month-- August 2015 Perry caricature

 (pronunciation at link)  (sole-eh-DAY-go  rid-DELL-ee-ii)

Common name: Riddell's Goldenrod

Family:  Asteraceae, Aster

Height x width: 2-3ft x 1.5-2ft.

Growth rate, habit: moderate, upright to arching

Foliage: alternate on stems, narrow, lance-shaped to linear, arched

Flowers:  tiny, bright yellow in dense terminal flatt-topped clusters, late summer to early fall, slightly arching stems

Hardiness: USDA zones 3-7 (average -30F minimum in winter)

Soil:  average, tolerates and may prefer alkaline soils (pH 7.0-8.0),  prefers wet soils

Light:  full sun

Pests and problems:  none significant, infrequently leaf rust

Landscape habit, uses:  rain garden, prairie or meadow garden, borders, wet soils, butterfly and pollinator gardens; combines well with asters; grasses such as little bluestem or blue oat grass, black-leaved bugbane, blue lobelia

Other interest: may be found now reclassified in the genus Oligoneuron although other authorities don't accept this change, native to the central U.S. and upper Midwest; doesn't cause allergies which are caused by other wind-borne pollen such as from ragweed; name for John Leonard Riddell (1807-1865), a Midwest botanist among other careers

Other culture:  removing spent flowers may encourage further blooms depending on season; if vigorous, may need dividing in 3 years

Propagation: spring division, early summer stem cuttings, seeds 

Sources:  many online and local specialty nurseries

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