Solidago patula is a perennial herb to 2 m tall, stems of inflorescence rough-hairy, remainder of stem smooth, 4-sided, angles sometimes narrowly winged.
Leaves alternate, elliptic to egg-shaped, to 30 x 10 cm, smaller upward, becoming lance-shaped, stalkless, upper surface harshly rough, underside smooth, veiny, margin sharply toothed, tip pointed, base narrowed to wide stalk, base of stalk often clasping stem.
Flowers yellow, of two types in small heads, rays 5-12, disk flowers 8-23, bracteate base of flower heads to 0.4 cm tall; blooms Aug.-Sept.; inflorescence branched, widely spreading, branches white-hairy, curved, flower heads crowded, disposed along one side.
Fruit dry achenes, plumed, wind-dispersed. Seeds eaten by some birds, foliage eaten by mice, rabbits and deer (Martin et al. 1951).
Wetland status: OBL.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Habitat: Open marshes, swamps, apparently prefers calcareous soil.