Solidago nemoralis

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Solidago nemoralis
Solidago nemoralis 3.jpg

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
S. nemoralis
Binomial name
Solidago nemoralis
Aiton 1789
  • Aster hispidus (Muhl. ex Willd.) Kuntze not Thunb. 1783
  • Doria pulcherrima (A.Nelson) Lunell

Solidago nemoralis is a species of flowering plant in the aster family, Asteraceae. It is native to North America, where it is widely found in Canada (every province except Newfoundland and Labrador) and the United States (all states wholly or partially east of the Rocky Mountains).[2] Its common names include gray goldenrod,[3] gray-stem goldenrod, old-field goldenrod,[4] field goldenrod,[5] prairie goldenrod, dwarf goldenrod,[6] and dyersweed goldenrod.[7]


Like other goldenrods, this species is a perennial herb. One of the smaller goldenrods,[6] It grows 20 centimeters to one meter (8-40 inches) tall from a branching underground caudex. There are 1 to 6 erect stems, sometimes more.[8] The stems are reddish to gray-green and have lines of short, white hairs.[6] The lower leaves are up to 10 centimeters (4 inches long and the blades are borne on winged petioles. Leaves on the upper half of the stem are narrower and shorter and lack petioles. The spreading inflorescence can carry up to 300 flower heads. The head contains 5 to 11 yellow ray florets each a few millimeters long surrounding up to 10 yellow disc florets. Flowering occurs in late summer and fall.[8] The fruit is a rough-texured cypsela about 2 millimeters long tipped with a pappus of bristles slightly longer.[8]

There are two subspecies:[8]

  • Solidago nemoralis ssp. decemfloratetraploid taxon with larger flower heads and narrower basal leaves in west-central North America
  • Solidago nemoralis ssp. nemoralis – diploid or tetraploid taxon in the eastern regions of the species' range


This plant grows in forests, woods, prairies, grasslands, and disturbed areas such as old fields and roadsides.[8] It is a pioneer species and it can become weedy.[6]

The flowers have a variety of insect pollinators, including honey bees, carpenter bees, sweat bees, plasterer bees, sphecid wasps, vespid wasps, butterflies, moths, beetles, hoverflies, tachinid flies, flesh flies, blow flies, and muscid flies.[6]

Insects such as the goldenrod scarlet plant bug, leaf-footed bugs, and various caterpillars feed on the foliage. The American goldfinch feeds on the fruits.[6]


The plant had various uses among Native American peoples. The Houma people used it medicinally to treat jaundice. The Goshute used the seeds for food. The Navajo used it as incense.[7]

It is cultivated in landscaping and gardens, such as butterfly gardens.[6]


  1. ^ "Solidago nemoralis". The Global Compositae Checklist (GCC) – via The Plant List.
  2. ^ "Solidago nemoralis". County-level distribution map from the North American Plant Atlas (NAPA). Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2014.
  3. ^ "Solidago nemoralis". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Solidago nemoralis". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  5. ^ Solidago nemoralis. NatureServe. 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Belt, S. 2009. Plant Fact Sheet for gray goldenrod (Solidago nemoralis). USDA NRCS, Norman A. Berg National Plant Materials Center, Beltsville, MD. 2009.
  7. ^ a b Solidago nemoralis. Native American Ethnobotany. University of Michigan, Dearborn.
  8. ^ a b c d e Semple, John C.; Cook, Rachel E. (2006). "Solidago nemoralis". In Flora of North America Editorial Committee. Flora of North America North of Mexico (FNA). 20. New York and Oxford – via, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

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