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Upland White Goldenrod Solidago ptarmicoides

Phonetic Spelling
so-li-DAY-go tarm-ih-COY-dees
Description

Solidago ptarmicoides, or Prairie Aster, is a herbaceous perennial wildflower and part of the Solidago, or Goldenrod, genus. Unlike most Goldenrod species, however, the Prairie Aster displays a mass of white flowers with pale yellow centers rather than all golden. This color difference likely led to the plant's original classification as Aster ptarmicoides, but that was corrected to Solidago ptarmicoides. Notwithstanding its aster-like white ray petals, this plant has goldenrod-like foliage and is known to hybridize in the wild with other goldenrods, but not with other asters. This plant is listed as endangered in North Carolina.

Note that the species name means "causes sneezing", which may be a remnant of the myth that goldenrod causes hay fever. However, the pollen that causes hay fever comes from ragweed, not goldenrod. 

Native to dry, sandy soils, rocky outcrops, and cracks in pavement, this hardy plant easily tolerates drought and dry soil. The Prairie Aster prefers full sun, although it accepts some light shade, and, while it does best in dry sandy or gravelly calcareous soils, it will tolerate moist loams as long as the site is well-drained. The plant grows as an unexceptional mound of green foliage until late summer when flowers explode into bloom.

After flowering, seed heads form containing small clusters of seed with white fluff that you should harvest promptly if you wish to save and reuse the seed. The plant does self-seed and spread in the garden and to prevent it from taking over, you should remove flower heads prior to the ripening of seed, which will help prevent seed dispersal. Stems may be cut to the ground in late fall.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:

No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to rust, powdery mildew and leaf spot. Root rot may occur in overly-moist or poorly-drained soils. Potential insect pests include several different types of beetles, aphids and gall-forming insects.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#drought tolerant#fall flowers#perennial#white flowers#native perennial#fire#medium flammability#NC native#summer flowers#wildflower garden#poor soils tolerant#NC Native Pollinator Plant#bird friendly#butterfly friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#drought tolerant#fall flowers#perennial#white flowers#native perennial#fire#medium flammability#NC native#summer flowers#wildflower garden#poor soils tolerant#NC Native Pollinator Plant#bird friendly#butterfly friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Solidago
    Species:
    ptarmicoides
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    central North America
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts bees, butterflies and othe polinators. Songbirds feed on seeds. Goldfinches love to eat the seed.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Tolerates drought and poor soil
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Mounding
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Blooms August through October. Daisy-like flowers in open, flat-topped clusters each containing 3 to 25 but sometimes as many as 50 flowers that bloom late summer to fall. Each flower has between 10 and 20 white rays and creamy white to pale yellow center disks.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Smooth
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Narrow pointed leaves can have smooth or rough textures. Lower leaves to 7 inches long are lanceolate-oval and stalked. Upper leaves are smaller, narrower, and widely spaced, eventually becoming stalkless near the top.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil