This section is from the book "A Manual Of Weeds", by Ada E. Georgia. Also available from Amazon: A Manual Of Weeds.
Native. Perennial. Propagates by seeds and by rootstocks.
Time of bloom: Late July to October.
Seed-time: September to November.
Range: New Brunswick to the Northwest Territory, southward to Florida, Missouri, and Nebraska. Habitat: Rich, moist soil; damp fields and meadows, sides of streams and ditches.
A beautiful plant but a bad weed, usually growing in large patches, formed by means of its long, creeping rootstocks. Stem erect, two to four feet tall, slightly angled and ridged, much branched and bushy. Leaves alternate, lance-shaped to linear, one to four inches long but only a quarter-inch wide or less, three- to five-nerved, minutely rough-hairy on the edges and on the under side of the nerves, pointed at both ends, entire, sessile. Heads in many dense, corymbose, small clusters at the ends of the short, leafy branches, forming altogether a large, flat-topped cluster; the heads are large for Goldenrod, about a quarter-inch high, deep yellow, fragrant, with many more rays than disk-florets, both kinds fertile; bracts of the involucre oblong and somewhat viscid. Achenes broadest at the top, downy-hairy, with fine, bristly pappus. The Goldenrods frequently serve as hosts for several species of mildew and rust, which makes them still more undesirable as neighbors to plants of better quality. (Fig. 297.)
The creeping rootstocks are horizontal and not far below the surface, and may be destroyed by shallow fall plowing, which exposes them to alternate freezing and thawing and to shrivel in sun and wind. Better drainage helps in keeping the ground free from new invasion. Of course all flowering stalks should be cut when the plants are in first bloom, in order to prevent seed development.
Fig. 297. - Narrow-leaved Goldenrod (Soli-dago graminifolia). X 1/4.