Solidago rugosa is a perennial herb; colonial from long rhizomes, stems hairy.
Leaves alternate, almost stalkless, blade 3.5-13 cm long, 1.3-5 cm wide, more or less elliptic, wrinkled-veiny (rugose, not 3-veined), hairy at least on veins below, margin toothed, lower stem leaves soon deciduous, upper stem leaves mostly crowded.
Flowers yellow, of two types in small heads, rays 6-11;, small, inflorescence branched along a central axis, branches curved, flower heads on one side of curved branches; blooms Aug.-Oct., blooming time earlier on wet than upland sites (Abrahamson and Gadgil 1973)
Fruit dry, achenes hairy, pappus (plume) about 0.3 cm long, wind dispersed (Matlack 1994), seeds eaten by birds and small mammals, plants eaten by rabbits and deer (Martin et al. 1951).
Wetland status: FAC.
Frequency in NYC: Frequent.
Habitat: Open or part shaded edges, moist to wet soil. Tolerates acid soil down to pH 3.8 (Greller et al. 1990).