Solidago canadensis L.
|Kingdom||Plantae||Plants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae|
|Subkingdom||Tracheobionta||Vascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients|
|Division||Magnoliophyta||Flowering plants, also known as angiosperms|
|Class||Magnoliopsida||Dicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves|
|Subclass||Asteridae||A large class that encompasses asters|
|Order||Asterales||Flowering plants with a central disk flower and surrounding petals, like daisies|
|Family||Asteraceae||The aster family, which also includes daisies and sunflowers; from the Greek ἀστήρ, “star,” for the star-shaped flowers|
|Genus||Solidago||From Latin solido, “to make whole or heal,” because it was believed these species had healing properties|
|Species||canadensis||“Of or from Canada”|
About plant names...
Canada goldenrods are natives of North America. For a comparison chart of some of the varieties of goldenrods, see
Identification: Plants are 2-6′ (60-182 cm) high. The main stem is smooth near the base, with rows of
soft small hairs nearer the top. Leaves are lance-shaped ("lanceolate") and sharply serrated, gray-green,
mostly hairless above, hairy below. They are up
to 6″ (15 cm) × 1″ (2.5 cm) at the base, and progressively smaller up the stem. Several yellow flowerheads,
each 3-5″ (7.6-12 cm) in length, branch
sideways from the main stem, and have flowers on one side only. Individual flowers are less than ⅛″ (3.2 mm) around, usually having
8-14 rays and 3-6 disk florets. Flowers bloom July to
The insect who looks like an escapee from the Emerald City is a cuckoo wasp. Cuckoo wasps are frequently mistaken for sweat bees (also called halictid bees), as both are colorful and about the same size. Here is an excellent comparison.
Edibility: Not edible.
Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants
The Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site
The USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database
Newcomb, Lawrence, Morrison, Gordon (Illus.), Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide, Little, Brown and Company, 1977, p. 448
Peterson, Roger Tory, McKenny, Margaret, Peterson Field Guides: Wildflowers—Northeastern and North Central North America, Houghton Mifflin, 1968, p. 190
Thierer, John W., Niering, William A, Olmstead, Nancy C., National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region, Alfred A. Knopf, 2001, p. 414
Brandenburg, David M., National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Wildflowers of North America, Andrew Stuart Publishing, Inc., 2010, p. 135
Turner, Mark, Gustafson, Phyllis, Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest, Timber Press, 2006, p. 262
Spellenberg, Richard, National Audubon Society Field Guide to Wildflowers, Western Region, Alfred A. Knopf, 2001, p. 321, 397
9/28/2013 · Wild Gardens of Acadia, Acadia Naitonal Park, Bar Harbor, Maine · ≈ 4½ × 7″ (12 × 18 cm)
Solidago canadensis description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.
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The visitor is a cuckoo wasp (from the Chrysididae family) · 8/17/2013 · Hopkinton State Park, Hopkinton, Massachusetts
9/28/2013 · Wild Gardens of Acadia, Acadia Naitonal Park, Bar Harbor, Maine · ≈ 4½ × 7″ (11 × 16 cm)
8/17/2013 · Hopkinton State Park, Hopkinton, Massachusetts
9/20/2009 · Wild Gardens of Acadia, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine · ≈ 14 × 9″ (35 × 23 cm)
The panicles are characteristically lopsided. · 8/17/2013 · Hopkinton State Park, Hopkinton, Massachusetts
About this map...