(sol-i-day' go)

Common name: Goldenrod

Family: Asteraceae, Aster

Height x width: 2-6' x 2-3' depending on species

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: alternate, often dentate, sometimes with basal rosettes; for native species canadensis leaves are lanceolate 4-6" long and sharply serrate

Flowers: many small flowers in panicles or loose other forms, generally 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; native to North America, 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

Other culture: may need division in borders every 3-4 years, taller species and cultivars need staking in the border

Propagation: seeds, division of desirable types


The bigeneric hybrid genus x Solidaster (thought Aster ptarmicoides and Solidago missouriensis) may be found especially as a European cut flower. x Solidaster luteus has been grown since 1910 when it was found as a natural hybrid in a French nursery, with 'Lemore' having pale yellow, massed flowers.

The following are the most seen in U.S. commerce, with many other species native. Flowers are yellow and terminal unless noted.
Species zones height flowers foliage, other
caesia, Blue-stemmed G. 4-9 1-3' axillary lance-shaped, toothed, arching stems
canadensis, Canada G. 3-9 2-5' one-sided uniform, 3-veined, lanceolate
flexicaulis, ZigZag G. 4-9 1-3' axillary ovate, toothed, stem angled
graminifolia, Grass-leaved G. 3-9 2-4' flattish narrow, grass-like
nemoralis, Gray G. 3-9 1-3' one-sided basal larger and toothed
riddellii, Riddell's G. 4-9 1-3' dense domed narrow, basal long-petioled
rigida, Stiff G. 4-9 2-5' flattish rough, basal long-stalked
rugosa, Rough-stemmed G. 3-9 2-7' one-sided uniform, toothed
sempervirens, Seaside G. 4-9 2-6' one-sided mostly basal, along seacoasts
speciosa, Showy G. 5-9 2-6' dense domed lower large and ovate
ulmifolia, Elm-leaved G. 4-9 2-4' one-sided lower larger, toothed



The following are the most common in U.S. commerce, with 'Golden Fleece' the most popular. All are generally listed as hybrids except for 'Golden Fleece' (sphacelata) and 'Fireworks' (rugosa).
Cultivar height flowers other
'Baby Gold' 2-3' bright yellow large racemes
'Cloth of Gold' 18-24" deep yellow vigorous
'Crown of Rays' 2-3' bright yellow don't need staking
'Fireworks' 3-4' golden arching, from Univ. NC
'Golden Baby' 2' golden  
'Golden Dwarf' 1-2' golden  
'Golden Fleece' 2-3' yellow, small forms dense groundcover
'Golden Mosa' 2-3' yellow yellowish foliage
'Goldkind':'Golden Baby'      
'Goldstrahl':'Peter Pan'      
'Goldzwerg':'Golden Dwarf'      
'Peter Pan' 2-3' canary yellow  
'Strahlenkrone':'Crown of Rays'      

(cultivar photos courtesy Missouri botanical gardens plantfinder)

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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