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Solidago speciosa

Common Name(s):
Showy goldenrod
Herbs, Native Plants, Perennials, Wildflowers

Showy Goldenrod is a herbaceous perennial that grows to 3 feet. As the common name suggests, this is one of the most showy golderods.  It has upright stems that host foot-long rods of golden yellow flowers in the early fall. Showy goldenrod tolerates drought and clay soil well and will naturalize in a landscape.  It provides great contrast to a garden in the late summer early fall.  Removing spent flower clusters encourages more bloom.  Goldenrods have been wrongfully accused of causing hay fever which is actually an allergic reaction to wind-borne pollen from other plants such as ragweed. 

Regions: Mountains, Piedmont, Coastal Plain

Seasons of Interest:

     Bloom: Fall; Fruit/Seed/Nut: Fall

Wildlife Value: Showy goldenrod is moderately deer resistant. Flowers are attractive to butterflies, bees, and other pollinators. Songbirds eat the seeds.  Members of the genus Solidago support the following specialized bees: Andrena (Callandrena s.l.) asterisAndrena (Callandrena s.l.) braccataAndrena (Cnemidandrena) canadensisAndrena (Cnemidandrena) hirticinctaAndrena (Cnemidandrena) nubeculaAndrena (Callandrena s.l.) simplexPerdita (Perdita) octomaculataMelissodes (Eumelissodes) fumosusColletes simulansand Colletes solidaginis

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious insect or disease problems. Rust, powdery mildew, and leaf spot may occur.  The plant may need to be divided every 2 years to manage size.

This plant may be confused with: Any other goldenrod speices Solidago spp.

Late summer into fall
2-7 ft.
Flower Color:
4 to 10 in. elliptical, lightly toothed leaves; upper leaves are narrow smaller and unstalked, they are attached to reddish stems
Dense pyramidal or club-shaped terminal cluster of small yellow flower heads
Open woods, prairies, thickets
Poor, dry
Central and eastern United States
Life Cycle:
fall bloom, drought tolerant, bees, birds, nectar, pollinator, specialized bees, honey bees, butterflies, fall interest, native bees, wildlife, deer resistant, clay soil

NCCES plant id: 2742

Solidago speciosa Form
Kerry Woods, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Solidago speciosa Flowers
Dan Mullen, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Solidago speciosa Flowers
Dan Mullen, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Solidago speciosa After flowering
RockerBOO, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Solidago speciosa Solidago speciosa
Debbie Roos