This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
A genus of upwards of 100 species, chiefly from North America. They are usuallytall rather coarse-growing herbaceous or frutescent herbs with alternate entire or toothed leaves and terminal scorpioid cymes or panicles of yellow flowers in small but numerous heads. Receptacle naked. Ray-florets few, uniseriate. Pappus in one series of rigid scabrid bristles. The name is unexplained. S. Virgaurea, Golden Rod, is a native representative of this genus; but some of the North American species are more ornamental, as S. Canadensis, S. laevigata, S. rigida, and S. altissima, all tall-growing plants and only admissible in shrubberies and by-places.
Linosyris vulgaris, Goldilocks, is a rare indigenous plant of close affinity. It grows about 18 inches high, and is densely clothed with linear glabrous entire leaves. Flower-heads small, corymbose; florets all tubular, 5-cleft, yellow.