Solidago canadensis  (S. c. var. canadensis; S. c. var. scabra = S. altissima) Canada goldenrod Asteraceae SOCA3; Bx, cm, nb, pb, sn, wv (Yost et al. 1991); NY, ct, hb, rr, wr; Q, a, cu, dp, ft, i, j, ri, rw, wl; K, do, fl, fs, m, p; R, ah, bk, c, ca, cl, e, fk, gb, gr, is, jl, js, lp, mls, mm, pr, ro, sb, se, sm, t, ty, v, w, wt;


Solidago canadensis.Randall G. Prostak.University of

Solidago canadensis habit.Randall G. Prostak.Universiry of Massachusetts.

Solidago canadensis is a perennial herb, 25 cm to 2 m tall, stem hairy above, usually smooth below; extensively colonial from rhizomes (no basal rosette), often forming large stands; rhizome connections between stems last from 1-6 years before disintegrating but disintegration occurs the first season between stems infested by gall insects (Howe, et al., 1994), winter stems and flower heads persistent (Uva et all 1997). 

Solidago canadensis

Solidago canadensis.leaf veins.2.Andrea Moro.Creative (Accessed 4/2014).

Leaves alternate, the larger 3-15 cm long, 0.5-2 cm wide, numerous, crowded along stem, lance-shaped to linear, dull green, mildly sweetish-aromatic when crushed, conspicuously 3-veined, veins impressed above, raised below, rough above, finely hairy below at least on veins, margin sharply toothed to almost smooth, lower leaves usually dying as inflorescence develops. 

Solidago canadensis.Jeff McMillian @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

Solidago canadensis.© Jeff McMillian @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database. (Accessed 5/2014).

Flowers yellow, of two types, in small heads subtended by bracts, rays 10-17, 0.1-0.3 cm long, disk flowers 2-8, bracteate base of flower heads 0.2-0.4 cm, bracts overlapping in 3-4 rows, yellowish; inflorescence pyramid-shaped to asymmetric, branching from a main axis, branches curved, flowers along the upper side; self-incompatible, pollinated by the yellow-banded bumblebee, Bombus terricola (Waddington 1983; Bartlett 2007) and other bees feeding on nectar and pollen, also visited by wasps, flies and soldier beetles, (Gross and Werner 1983); blooms Aug.-Sept. 

Fruit dry seed-like achenes about 0.1 cm long, ribbed, with a plume of white bristles, wind dispersed through fall into winter. 

Wetland status: FACU. 

Frequency in NYC: Common. 


Solidago (Accessed 5/2014).

Origin: Native. 

Habitat: Moist to dry meadows, open areas, thin woods, edges. 

Notes: Seeds eaten by some birds, foliage eaten by mice, rabbits and deer (Martin et al. 1951). Attacked by insects forming round stem galls (Eurosta solidaginus, Diptera), elliptic stem galls (Gnorimoschema gallaesolidaginus, Lepidoptera) and leaf bunch gall (Rhopalomyia solidaginus, Diptera), (Levine, 1995, p.140). Also attacked by leaf eating beetles (Trirhabda sp.), and a xylem feeding spittlebug (Philaenus spumarius) (Meyer 1993). Flowers eaten by Blister beetles, Epicauta pennsylvanica (Gross and Werner. 1983). Canada goldenrod is one of the few herbs that can compete effectively with mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris). Leaf extracts shown to inhibit seed germination of some other plants (Butcko and Jensen 2002).