Solidago bicolor is a perennial herb, 10-80 cm (usually rather small), stems solitary or few together, small plants unbranched, gray-hairy, from a woody base.
Leaves alternate, basal ones 2-20 cm long, 1.5-6 cm long, spatula-shaped, more-or-less toothed, somewhat hairy, stalked, stem leaves smaller upward.
Flowers dull white, of two types, in small heads subtended by bracts, ray flowers 7-14, disk flowers more yellow, bracteate base of head 0.3-0.5 cm tall, bracts straw-color with green tips; inflorescence usually spike-like, interrupted; insect pollinated (Abrahamson and Gadgil 1973); blooms July-Oct.
Fruit dry, seed-like achenes, 0.5 cm long pale brown, plumed, wind dispersed.
Wetland status: UPL.
Frequency in NYC: Infrequent.
Habitat: Upland dry, open forest understory, sterile soil, somewhat shade tolerant.