Tall Goldenrod
Solidago altissima
Asteraceae (Composite Sunflower) Family

Other names: Smooth Goldenrod, Early Goldenrod, Giant Goldenrod.

 

Plant is an upright, hairy perennial. Preferred habitat is pine woods, roadsides, slopes and moist sandy soils. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region and is likely the most prominent species of goldenrod in this area.

Leaves are hairy and rough to the touch, alternate on the stem, very short leaf-stalks, lance-like, three to four inches long and widest at the middle. Lower leaves ascend and slightly clasp the stem.

Flowers are in tight clusters, twelve or more rays per flower, symmetrical in shape; bisexual and yellow. Flowering occurs in the summer and extends into autumn.

Flowers are in tight clusters, twelve or more rays per flower, symmetrical in shape; bisexual and yellow. Flowers occur in the summer and early autumn.

Fruit is a seed which outer layer is fused to it (achene).

Tall Goldenrod was the former state flower of Alabama. However, the good people of Alabama felt that being associated with goldenrod was inappropriate since so many suffer from allergies and the goldenrod was blamed for their misery. In fact, the culprit was ragweed, whose pollen is airborne (goldenrod pollen is distributed by insects).  Nevertheless, goldenrod remains the state flower of Kentucky and Nebraska.

There are some 40-50 species of goldenrod in the southeast, and the plant hybridizes easily rendering some plants to be confusing and extremely difficult to distinguish.

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