Solidago puberula ssp. puberula
Asteraceae (Composite Sunflower) Family, Daisy Tribe
Plant is an upright, slender, small species to 3 feet tall. Preferred habitat is thin woods, meadows, between stable dunes and roadsides. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.
The lower leaf is prominent; rough above; oblong; long pointed at tip; base narrows to wedge-shaped; nearly clasping the stem; 2-6 inches long, toothed and wavy margins; spreading hairs on leaf and stem. Upper stems leaves are nearly sickle-shaped with a prominent midvein. Tiny leaves emerge from the leaf axil.
Flowers are in elongated clusters; somewhat spiraling around the woody stem; 5-9 female ray flowers; symmetrical in form. Disc flowers number 3-8, bisexual in nature. Flowers occur in early autumn.
Fruit is achene (a seed which outer layer is fused to it).
The plant is called Downy Goldenrod, and refers to the dense gray hairs on the primary leaves. The stem may be greenish-yellow on the upper portion and purple on the lower, smooth (not downy). It is closely related and similar to S. nemoralis, which renders it difficult to distinguish.
This species has the largest heads of any of our goldenrod, and the thick, upright spikes make this an especially desirable plant for use in cultivation. The plants are generally low enough to use as specimen or bedding plants. The flowers yield an orange or yellow dye.