Solidago canadensis L.

Canada goldenrod

New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

Where native and non-native distributions co-occur in a county, only the native distribution is shown.

North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Canada goldenrod is a common and widespread goldenrod. It is reportedly allelopathic to sugar maple (Acer saccharum) seedlings, meaning it produces chemicals in the soil that inhibits their growth. The flowers and roots were widely used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes. There are two varieties present in New England.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf type
leaves are simple (lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaf arrangement
alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
  • the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
  • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
Flower type in flower heads
the flower head has tubular disk flowers in the center and ray flowers, these often strap-shaped, around the periphery
Ray flower color
yellow
Tuft or plume on fruit
at least a part of the plume is made up of fine bristles
Spines on plant
the plant has no spines
Leaf blade length
30–190 mm
Disk flower number
  • 1-5
  • 6-10
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Bases of bract appendages
    NA
    Bract color
    the bracts are not colored or tinged with with pink, red or purple
    Bract cycle number
    there are three or more cycles of bracts
    Bract keels
    the bracts do not have keels
    Bract margins
    there are fine hairs along the bract margins
    Bract separation
    the bracts appear completely unconnected to one another on all flower heads
    Bract shape
    • the main bracts are lanceolate (widest above the base, then taper narrowly towards the tip)
    • the main bracts are linear (long and very narrow)
    Bract spines
    the bracts have no spines
    Bract tip color
    the tips are a different color from the center of the bract
    Bract tip extension appearance
    NA
    Bract tip extension edge
    there are no projections from the bract tips
    Bract tip orientation
    the bracts are pressed against the plant, or spreading out at the tips
    Bract tip shape
    the tips of the bracts are acuminate (tapered to a narrow point)
    Bracts
    there are at least two distinct forms of bracts in different cycles
    Disk flower color
    yellow
    Disk flower lobe number
    5
    Disk flower number
    • 1-5
    • 6-10
    Disk flower reproductive parts
    the disk flower has both pollen- and seed-producing parts
    Disk flower shape
    the disk flower is abruptly widened at some point below the lobes
    Flower head number
    each flowering stem has four or more flower heads on it
    Flower head outer flowers
    at the outer edge of the flower head, each flower has a single enlarged lobe or strap
    Flower head platform
    the base has no bristles or papery scales
    Flower head platform surface
    NA
    Flower head position
    each of the flower heads is separate on its own peduncle (stalk), not clustered in groups
    Flower head profile
    the disk is rounded across the top
    Flower head shape
    the sides of the flower head are roughly parallel, like a cylinder
    Flower type in flower heads
    the flower head has tubular disk flowers in the center and ray flowers, these often strap-shaped, around the periphery
    Height of flower head base
    2–3 mm
    Inflorescence branching (Solidago)
    the flower heads tend to be all on one side of the stem; the tips of the flowering stems are arched or curved downwards
    Inflorescence shape
    the inflorescence is not flat-topped but appears rounded, with some flower heads distinctly higher than others
    Inflorescence stem
    hairs are present on the stem of the inflorescence
    Number of bracts at flower head base
    12–16
    Ovary attachment
    the ovary is attached at or near the base
    Ovary beak
    there is no beak on the ovary
    Ovary cross-section
    • the ovary has five or more corners in cross-section
    • the ovary is compressed (flattened)
    Ovary hairs
    the ovary has hairs on it
    Ovary lines or ribs
    • there are seven to nine ribs visible on the ovary
    • there are ten or more ribs visible on the ovary
    Ovary profile
    • in profile, the ovary is lance-shaped, but widest above the middle
    • in profile, the ovary is oblong (roughly rectangular but rounded at the ends)
    Ovary surface
    the ovary surface has no points, bumps or wrinkles, though it may have lines, ribs or wings
    Ovary wing number
    NA
    Peduncle hairs
    the peduncles are hairy
    Peduncle length
    3–3.4 mm
    Ray flower color
    yellow
    Ray flower reproductive parts
    the ray flowers have carpels or stamens, but not both
    Ray flowers
    • 1-5
    • 11-15
    • 16-25
    • 6-10
    Ray length
    0.5–1.5 mm
    Reproductive system
    some of the flowers on the plant have only carpels or stamens, while others have both carpels and stamens
    Scale tip
    NA
    Smaller bracts at base of bracts
    there is no smaller, outer cycle of bracts
    Style branch number
    the style has two branches
    Style branches
    the style branch is narrow at the tip, or the style branches are narrow at the tips
  • Fruits or seeds
    Number of pappus parts
    11 or more
    Ovary beak length
    0 mm
    Ovary length in developed fruit
    1–1.5 mm
    Seed hair tuft bases
    the pappus hairs are not attached to one another near the base
    Seed hair tuft details
    the pappus hairs are hooked or barbed
    Seed hair tuft length
    1.8–2.2 mm
    Seed hairs uniform
    there are two distinct lengths of pappus hairs
    Seed tuft scale number
    0
    Seed tuft type
    the pappus is made of very fine hairs or bristles
    Top of disk flower ovary
    NA
    Tuft or plume on fruit
    at least a part of the plume is made up of fine bristles
  • Glands or sap
    Leaf blade glands
    the leaf blades have no glandular (translucent) dots or scales
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant has one or more free-standing stems
    Plant lifespan
    the plant is perennial, it shows evidence of previous year's leaves, stems or stem bases
    Spines on plant
    the plant has no spines
    Underground organs
    the plant has a rhizome (a horizontal underground stem with roots growing from it)
  • Leaves
    Final leaf segment length (compound lvs only)
    0 mm
    Final leaf segment width (compound lvs only)
    0 mm
    Hairs on underside of leaf blade
    • the underside of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    • the underside of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    • the upper side of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    • the upper side of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Leaf arrangement
    alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Leaf blade base
    the leaf has no petiole
    Leaf blade base shape
    the base of the leaf blade is cuneate (wedge-shaped, tapers to the base with relatively straight, converging edges), or narrow
    Leaf blade bloom
    the underside of the leaf has no noticeable bloom
    Leaf blade edges
    • the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
    • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
    Leaf blade length
    30–190 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    Leaf blade surface colors
    there is no noticeable color variation on the upper surface of the leaf
    Leaf blade tip
    the tip of the leaf blade is acuminate (tapers to a long, thin point)
    Leaf blade veins
    the leaf blade has three main veins running from the base towards the tip
    Leaf blade width
    8–30 mm
    Leaf disposition
    the leaves are nearly similar in size, prominence of teeth, and length of stalks throughout the stem
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf stalk
    the leaves have no leaf stalks, but attach directly to the stem
    Leaf stalk length
    0 mm
    Leaf tip extension
    NA
    Leaf type
    leaves are simple (lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaflet number
    0
    Specific leaf type
    the leaves are simple (lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets
    Teeth per side of leaf blade
    At least 0
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    the plant does not have much of an odor
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Flowering stem cross-section
    the flowering stem is circular, or with lots of small angles
    Leaves on stem
    there is at least one full leaf above the base of the flowering stem
    Stem bloom
    • the stem has a powdery or waxy film on it that can be rubbed away
    • there is no powdery or waxy film on the stem
    Stem internode hair direction
    the hairs point mostly upwards to outwards
    Stem internode hairs
    • the stem has hairs between the nodes
    • the stem has no hairs between the nodes
    Stem wings
    the stem does not have wings on it

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but occasionally in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACU)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

var. canadensis

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

var. hargeri

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

var. scabra

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Solidago altissima:
series of involucral bracts mostly 3-4 mm tall and undersurfaces of leaf blades usually hairy on and between the veins (vs. S. canadensis, with the series of involucral bracts 2-3 mm tall and undersurface of leaf blades usually hairy only on the veins). Solidago gigantea: stems without hairs and with a bloom below the array of flower heads (vs. stems hairy and without a bloom below the flower heads).

Family

Asteraceae

Genus

Solidago

Notes on Subspecies and Varieties in New England

Solidago canadensis L. var. canadensis is known from CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. S. canadensis L. var. hargeri Fern. is known from CT, MA, ME, NH, VT.

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

6.  Solidago canadensis L. N

Canada goldenrod. CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Fields, roadsides, open rights-of-way, clearings.

1a.  Leaf blades abaxially pubescent on and between the veins, adaxially pubescent or scabrous; stems generally pubescent to the base … 6a. S. canadensis var. hargeri Fern.

1b.  Leaf blades abaxially subglabrous or pubescent only on the midvein and lateral veins, adaxially glabrous or scabrous; stems generally pubescent only in the apical half 
 … 6b. S. canadensis var. canadensis

Variety hargeri is known from CT, MA, ME, NH, VT. Vareity canadensis is known from CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT.

6×14. Solidago canadensis × Solidago macrophylla Solidago ×‌calcicola Fern. is a rare hybrid known only from northern New England ( ME, NH). It demonstrates triple-veined leaf blades (as in S. canadensis), but the capitula are neither secund nor are they borne on nodding or recurved branches (in this trait the hybrid is similar to S. macrophylla). The stems arise from a stout caudex in this nothospecies (rather than elongate rhizomes as in S. canadensis).