Solidago odora is a perennial herb, 60 cm to 1.6 m tall, from a short root crown, upper stem rough-hairy, otherwise smooth.
Leaves alternate, mostly along stem, 4-11 cm long, 0.5-1.5 cm wide, lance-shaped to linear, margin smooth, stalkless, sprinkled with tiny translucent dots, anise scented when crushed.
Flowers yellow, rather showy, of two types in small heads, rays 3-5, disk flowers 3-5, basal bracts of flower heads 0.3-0.4 cm, slender, yellowish, inflorescence branched along a central axis branches curved back, flowers along upper side, July-Sept.
Fruit dry, achenes, plumed, wind dispersed. Seeds eaten by birds and small mammals, plants eaten by rabbits and deer (Martin et al. 1951).
Wetland status: UPL.
Frequency in NYC: Infrequent.
Habitat: Dry, open woods and open areas, often in sandy soil.