Goldenrods (Solidago sp.)

Late every summer we are overwhelmed with Goldenrods, everywhere. Recently Vince has been working on a key to try to help us with the seemingly impossible task of identifying (some of) them. Below is a pictorial version that we will be working on for the next few ….years!

Let’s start with some of the easier ones to identify, those that are “Clublike” or “Wandlike”, and that we see quite often.

Silverrod (Solidago bicolor)

  • Wandlike, slender
  • Flowers – white and yellow ray flowers
  • Stem – Stiff, grayish, hairy
  • Leaves – ovate, blunt-tipped, reduced upward

Silver Goldenrod (Solidago bicolor)

Blue-stem Goldenrod (Solidago caesia)

  • Wandlike, slender
  • Flowers – yellow ray flowers, in sessile clusters in leaf axils
  • Stem – round, arching, bluish or purplish
  • Leaves – sessile, lanceolate


Curtis’ Goldenrod (Solidago curtisii)

  • Wandlike, slender
  • Flowers – yellow ray flowers , in sessile clusters in leaf axils; 3 or 4 florets per head
  • Stem – grooved, sometimes purple
  • Leaves – sessile, lanceolate; upper leaves extend way beyond the flower clusters

Mountain Goldenrod (Solidago roanensis)

  • Clublike; short & stocky appearance
  • Flowers – yellow ray flowers, in dense cylindrical clusters
  • Stem – smooth, sometimes purple
  • Leaves – upper leaves, sessile, lanceolate & entire; lower leaves coarsely toothed with long pointed ends



Text by Vince Mercurio, Photography by Ken Borgfeldt, Penny Longhurst, & Jim Poling