University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science

Perennial of the Month - September 1999

Solidago sphacelata 'Golden Fleece'

(sol-i-day' go sfay' ce-lah-tah)

Common name: Golden Fleece Goldenrod

Family: Asteraceae, Aster

Height x width: 18" to 2' tall x 2-3' wide

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: rounded, alternate, often dentate, sometimes with basal rosettes

Flowers: many small flowers in loose sprays, terminal, fall

Hardiness: zones 3-6 to 8

Soil: well-drained

Light: sun to part shade

Pests and Problems: spider mites, leaf rust, lacebug on some species, chewing by mammals

Landscape habit, uses: meadow and natural gardens, borders, cut flower, bee and butterfly gardens

Other interest: this genus is usually erroneously thought to cause allergies, which are actually caused by ragweed (Ambrosia) which blooms at the same time; genus is native to North America, related species have been taken to Europe, hybridized, and are seen extensively in gardens and in Europe as a cut flower especially for cemetaries; genus name from the Latin solidus meaning whole, refering to its traditional healing properties; this cultivar selected by Dr. Richard Lighty of the Mt. Cuba Center in Delaware in the 1980's, and has a quite different flowering character from most other species and cultivars and is quite attractive, especially massed or as a groundcover

Other culture: may need division in borders every 3-4 years

Propagation: seeds, division

Sources: Sunny Border Nurseries, Kensington, CT (wholesale); North Creek Nursery, Landenberg, PA; check your local garden stores, and online catalogs as well

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