GOLDENROD

FAMILY: Asteraceae | GENUS: SOLIDAGO

TYPE
  • Perennials
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Moderate Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • US (Upper South) / Zone 6
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8
  • CS (Coastal South) / Zone 9

Plant Details

These North American natives are not as widely grown as they deserve, largely due to the mistaken belief that their pollen causes hay fever (in fact, other plants are responsible). Although a few of the hundred-plus species are weeds in many regions, many are choice garden plants. All have leafy stems rising from tough, woody, spreading rootstocks; all bear small yellow flowers in large, branching, typically one-sided clusters from mid- or late summer into fall. Good cut flowers. These are tough plants that thrive in not-too-rich soil. Use in borders with black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) or Michaelmas daisy (Aster novi-belgii), or naturalize in meadows. Butterflies are attracted to goldenrod flowers, and birds enjoy the seeds.

TALL GOLDENROD

solidago altissima(Solidago canadensis scabra)

  • The state flower of Kentucky, this is a stiff, erect, much-branched plant to 37 feet tall, 112 feet wide.
  • Every part of it is bristly.
  • Bears large, branched, pyramidal flower heads.
  • Clumping growth.

blue-stemmed goldenrod, wreath goldenrod

solidago caesia

  • Grows 1123 feet tall, with arching, downy, blue-green stems loaded with blooms.
  • Clumping growth.

canada goldenrod

solidago canadensis

  • Stands 35 feet tall, 3 feet wide.
  • Large, showy flower panicles, densely packed with blossoms.
  • Robust and vigorous, spreading widely by underground runners; can be invasive.

solidago hybrids

  • The following are among the best garden selections.
  • All form slowly spreading, manageable clumps.

Cloth of Gold

  • To 112 feet tall, 1 feet wide, with a long bloom season beginning in midsummer.

Crown of Rays

  • To 23 feet tall, 12 feet wide.
  • Stiff and erect, with flattish flower clusters.

Golden Baby

  • (Goldkind').
  • To 2 feet high, 112 feet wide, with plumelike flower clusters.

Goldenmosa

  • To 2123 feet tall, 112 feet wide, with very large flower clusters reminiscent of florist's mimosa (Acacia baileyana).

Gold Spangles

  • To 2212 feet high, 1112 feet wide.
  • Leaves are splashed with gold and green.
  • Showy plumes of fragrant bright yellow flowers.
  • A bit of a spreader; divide every two to three years to keep in bounds.

Laurin

  • Vigorous dwarf selection to 1112 feet high and about as wide.
  • Looks refined.

Little Lemon

  • ('Dansolitlem').
  • Upright, dense dwarf to just 14 inches high, 18 inches wide.
  • Soft yellow flowers.

gray goldenrod

solidago nemoralis

  • Tidy-looking plant ranging from 6 inches to 2 feet tall and wide.
  • Soft, gray-green basal leaves; curved flower plumes in rich yellow.
  • Blooms over a longer period than most species.
  • Likes dryish soil.
  • Short lived; best treated as a biennial.
  • Deadhead to prevent prolific self-seeding.

sweet goldenrod

solidago odora

  • Tall grower to 612 feet high, 3 feet wide.
  • Unbranched stems are set with anise-scented leaves.
  • Large, long-lasting flower heads.
  • Particularly tolerant of poor, dry soils.
  • Clumping growth.

stiff goldenrod

solidago rigida

  • To 112212 feet wide, with stems 25 feet high.
  • Dense golden blossom heads.
  • Very adaptable to garden conditions; takes average or rich soil, much or little moisture.
  • Moderately vigorous spreader.

rough-leafed goldenrod

solidago rugosa

  • Hairy-stemmed plant to 5 feet tall, 3 feet wide, with arching, widely branching stems.
  • Fireworks makes a more compact clump (3 feet tall, 2 feet wide).
  • Clumping.

seaside goldenrod

solidago sempervirens

  • Stately clumping species to 8 feet tall, 112 feet wide.
  • Tolerates dry soil, heat, salt, wind.
  • May topple in rich soil.
  • Spoon-shaped basal leaves.

solidago shortii

  • Solar Cascade.
  • Grows 2212 feet tall and 2 feet wide, with gracefully arching stems.
  • Good ground cover.
  • Clumping growth.

showy goldenrod

solidago speciosa

  • Upright growth to 24 feet tall and wide, with erect, densely packed flower heads.
  • Very showy.
  • Clumping.

solidago sphacelata 'Golden Fleece

  • Stands just 1122 feet high when in bloom.
  • Low foliage mound makes it a good ground cover; if you set plants 15 inches apart, spreading growth will give you a solid mat in just a year.

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