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Solidago speciosa Nutt.

Showy goldenrod

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderAsteralesFlowering plants with a central disk flower and surrounding petals, like daisies
FamilyAsteraceaeThe aster family, which also includes daisies and sunflowers; from the Greek ἀστήρ, “star,” for the star-shaped flowers
GenusSolidagoFrom Latin solido, “to make whole or heal,” because it was believed these species had healing properties
Speciesspeciosa"Showy, splendid" (from Stearn's Botanical Latin)

About plant names...

Showy goldenrods are natives of North America. For a comparison chart of some of the varieties of goldenrods, see Solidago.

Identification: Plants are 24-72" (60-182 cm) high, usually a single, unbranched stem that is usually reddish, sometimes green. Leaves are 6" (15 cm) × 1½" (3.8 cm), long and narrow (“lanceolate”) or somewhat wider at the center (“narrowly ovate”). Upper leaves are much smaller. Leaf edges are usually smooth and leaves are hairless. Flowerheads are erect and upright, conical in shape, up to 12" (30 cm) at the top of the stem, with tight clusters of tiny yellow flowers. Each flower is about ¼" (6.3 mm) across, and has 4-10 petals (ray florets) and a tiny central disk flower. Flowers appear from August to October.

Edibility: Not edible.

Online References:

Solidago speciosa at Illinois Wildflowers

Solidago speciosa on Ontario Wildflowers

Solidago speciosa on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Solidago speciosa on

Solidago speciosa at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center


Newcomb, Lawrence, Morrison, Gordon (Illus.), Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide, Little, Brown and Company, 1977, p. 452

Peterson, Roger Tory, McKenny, Margaret, Peterson Field Guides: A Field Guide to Wildflowers of Northeastern and North Central North America, Houghton Mifflin, 1968, p. 198


Solidago speciosa description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Solidago speciosa (showy goldenrod)

1/19/2021 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, Mass­a­chu­setts

Range: Zones 3-8:

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