Solidago altissima L.
Tall Goldenrod, Late Goldenrod, Canadian Goldenrod, Canada Goldenrod
Asteraceae (Aster Family)
Synonym(s): Solidago altissima var. altissima, Solidago altissima var. pluricephala, Solidago altissima var. procera, Solidago canadensis var. scabra, Solidago hirsutissima, Solidago lunellii
USDA Symbol: SOAL6
Rough, erect, 2-6 ft. stems occur singly or in clusters. Small, yellow flowers are arranged along the upper side of branches, forming a feathery, plume-shaped inflorescence.
Two other similar species with arching flower stalks are Giant Goldenrod (S. gigantea), smooth-stemmed, often with whitish bloom, and with flower heads to 1/4 of an inch (6 mm) long, and Canada Goldenrod (S. canadensis), with sharply toothed leaves and very small flower heads only 1/8 of an inch (3 mm) long. These three species appear so similar to the casual observer that they share several common names. Although S. altissima and other Goldenrods are commonly blamed for hay fever, this discomfort is usually caused by pollen from Ragweed (Ambrosia spp.).
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall.
Flower: Flowers in 3 inch pyramid.
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , HI , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NS , ON , PE , QC , SK
Native Distribution: Most of s. Canada & AK, s. to VA, LA & CA
Native Habitat: Dry to moist roadsides, thickets, prairies & open woods
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Moist to dry soils. Clay, Clay Loam, Medium Loam, Sandy Loam, Sandy, Caliche type
Conditions Comments: Height is determined mostly by the fertility and moisture content of the soil. The western form is ssp. elongata.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Perennial garden, Pocket prairie
Use Wildlife: Attracts butterflies.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Nectar Source: yes
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Honey Bees
Supports Conservation Biological Control
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Description: Propagate by seed or division of clumps. Use only strong outer rhizomes when dividing.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Order seed of this species from Native American Seed and help support the Wildflower Center.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Sibley Nature Center - Midland, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Nueces River Authority - Uvalde, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
BibliographyBibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Solidago altissima in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Solidago altissima in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Solidago altissima
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-01-16
Research By: TWC Staff