Canada Golden-Rod (Soligado Canadensis) is perhaps the most common and the handsomest of the genus. The flower cluster is very large and plume-like. The leaves are thin, narrowly lanceolate and finely toothed. The rather slender stem ascends to heights of 2 to 7 feet. The flowerheads are rather small, but are closely crowded on the curving peduncles. This is a very common species throughout our range.
Lance-leaved Golden-rod. Solidago graminifolia.
This species differs greatly in appearence from the usual form of most of the Golden-rods; in fact the difference in form is even more pronounced than that of the Blue-stemmed variety, and is so great that many botanists favor the forming of a new Genus for it. It is a very common species and is found everywhere, either in moist or dry situations.
The stem is simple, angular and slightly rough; it ascends 2 to 5 feet and near the summit sends up many slender wiry, leafy branches supporting flat-topped flower clusters. The flowers are crowded closely together but are very small and rather dull-colored; they have 12 to 20 minute rays. The leaves are small and narrowly lanceolate; they have three to five ribs and are toothless but have a rough edge. It blooms from August until October, very commonly from N. S. to Sask. and southwards to N. J. and Mo.
Slender Golden-Rod (Solidago Tenuifolia) is a somewhat similar species with narrower leaves, linear-lanceolate, usually one-ribbed and minutely dotted. The stem is smooth and more slender; it grows from 1 to 3 feet high. The flowers are in a flat-topped cluster, each head having 6 to 12 tiny rays. It is found in sandy soil, chiefly near the coast, from Mass to Fla.
Showy Golden-Rod (Solidago Speciosa) is a large species, from 3 to 7 feet tall, with a stout simple stem and a magnificent, bright golden-yellow, plume-like head; the flowers are comparatively large and have usually five rays. Readily distinguished by its leaves, the lower ones rather large, contracting into a margined stem, gradually decreasing in size to small lance-shaped ones at the top of the stem.
New England Aster, Aster novae-angliae,,
The members of this genus are exceedingly numerous in species. Collectively they greatly outnumber all the rest of the family combined. They are very variable; some have large flower heads, others tiny ones; some are quite tall, others barely rise above the ground; some have few flowers on a plant while on others they are exceedingly numerous. Their colors are usually some shade of purple or white. They all yield an abundance of nectar and are frequented by numerous small bees. The tubular flowers, those on the disc, or "button", in the center of the flower, are regular and perfect; the ray florets are pistillate.
The flowers are so numerous and vary so greatly, one type gradually merging into another, that they form a confusing Genus. The latest edition of Gray's Botany describes 57 species; we refer anyone to this work if they wish to learn the specific name of every species. We will describe a few of the distinct and most common types.