Family, Composite. A stout - stemmed species, 2 to 5 feet high. Leaves, toothed, veiny, large, with margined petioles. Heads of flowers large, clustered in leafy, compound, elongated spikes. August to October.
Mountains of Virginia and northward to the hills of Vermont.
S. latifolia has a crooked, zigzag stem, 1 to 3 feet high, smooth, simple or branched. Leaves, thin, large, 6 inches or less in length, sharply toothed, acute at apex and base. Flowers, with 3 or 4 rays, the heads clustered in axils of the leaves or racemelike at ends of branches.
Southward among the mountains, northward in dry woods.
S. caesia - A common golden-rod. It is late in flowering. Stem, smooth, or with a soft bloom which rubs off. Flowers, pale yellow, closely clustered along the stem, in the axils, and compactly panicled at the top. Leaves, sessile, long, narrow, serrate, feather-veined. A delicate, graceful, upright plant. August to October.
Golden-rod (Solidago rugosa)
In deciduous forests from Maine to Minnesota and southward.
S. hispida. - The manner of growth of this species is similar to the white golden-rod (S. bicolor, p. 134). Flowers, in small clusters in the upper leaf-axils, also in a crowded, narrow panicle (a thyrsus) at the top of the stem. Leaves, the lower oval or obtuse, short-petioled, softly hairy, toothed; upper, sessile, lanceshaped, acute. Rays, deep yellow. Disk, lighter colored. Stem, stout, very hairy, 1 1/2 to 3 feet high. July to September.
Dry and rocky woods or banks in all the Eastern States as far south as Georgia. More frequent northward, and found 2,000 feet high in the Catskills.
S. speciosa. - A late bloomer. Its leaves are a polished, dark green, the lower with margined petioles, the upper sessile; lower, broad, a foot or less long, all acute at apex, toothed, pinnately or feather veined. The stem is tall, 3 to 6 feet high, and is crowned with a splendid, ample panicle of bloom. Plant roughly hairy. September and October.
A common species, in rich soil in dry, open woods, somewhat local, from Massachusetts to Minnesota and southward.
S. rugosa. - Stem, stout, tall, 1 to 6 or 7 feet high, generally branched at top. Leaves, large, petioled below, smaller, oblong, or ovate or lance-shaped above, all rough, especially underneath along the veins. Flowers, in 1-sided, drooping panicles, accompanied with small leaves. July to November.
In dry or damp soil, fields or edges of thickets, in all the Eastern States. Common, and very variable. Generally a low-growing species. (See illustration, p. 215.)
S. ulmifolia. - A low, early species, 1 to 4 feet high. Leaves, broad, oblong to lance-shaped, sharply serrate, thin, acute, softly hairy underneath. Flowers, in recurved, spreading panicles, with small leaves interspersed. August and September.
Dry woods and copses, Maine to Minnesota, south to Georgia.