Solidago flexicaulis is a perennial herb, 30 cm to 1.2 m tall (usually much less), colonial from long rhizomes, roots associated with VA mycorrhizas (Brundrett and Kendrick 1988); stems zig-zagged from node to node.
Leaves alternate, few or no basal leaves, blade egg-shaped, to elliptic, 7-15 cm long, 3-10 cm wide, upper leaves smaller, tip long-pointed, margin sharply toothed, veins hairy below, base abruptly contracted to a winged stalk. Leaves last 28 weeks (summer green herb) (Hicks and Chabot 1985).
Flowers yellow, of two types in small heads, rays 3-4, disk flowers 5-9, bracteate base of head 0.4-0.6 cm long, tips rounded; inflorescence unbranched, the lower part leafy, upper part rather dense, narrowly cylindrical; blooms Aug.-Oct. (Hough 1983). Fruit dry achenes, plumed, wind dispersed during late autumn.
Wetland status: FACU.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Habitat: Rich woods. Shade tolerant. Requires at least 0.5% sunlight in order to survive (compensation point), but cannot use more than 12% full sunlight (saturation point) (Hicks and Chabot 1985).