Early Goldenrod, Solidago gigantea

Early Goldenrod

Solidago gigantea

Benefits: Pollinator Benefit Graphic
Sun Shade: Plant Light Requirements Graphic
Bloom Time: Late Summer/Early Fall
Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Soil Conditions: Acid, Clay, Loam, Sandy
Soil Moisture: Medium, Moist, Wet
Color: Yellow
Fragrance: No
Height: 3-7 feet
Spacing: 2-6 feet

Early Goldenrod, Solidago gigantea, called Early Goldenrod or Giant Goldenrod, is a rhizomatous, upright perennial of the sunflower family. It is mostly found growing in moist conditions on stream/pond margins, floodplain woodlands, wet woods, thickets, wet prairies and bluff bases.

The central stems rise to 3-7 feet tall clad with numerous, narrow, alternate, lance-shaped, sharply-toothed, stalkless to short-stalked, glabrous, green leaves which are tapered at each end. The blooming period occurs from late summer to early fall for about a month with masses of tiny yellow flowers. Both ray and disk florets produce small achenes with sessile tufts of hair. The achenes are bullet-shaped, flat-topped, and finely pubescent. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous. Colonies of plants are often formed from the rhizomes.

Habitats include openings in flood plain woodlands, borders of woodlands, low partially shaded areas along rivers and ponds, river bottom prairies, wet prairies, prairie swales, soggy thickets, fens, and ditches.

Easily grown in average, slightly acidic, moderately rich, moist to wet, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates light shade. Intolerant of full shade. Performs best with consistent moisture. This is a rhizomatous, spreading, somewhat weedy plant that can rapidly colonize an area by creeping rhizomes and self-seeding. Removal of flower heads prior to ripening of seed, if practicable, will help prevent seed dispersal. Taller plants tend to lean over when flowers are in bloom.

 Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  Blooms earlier (sometimes beginning in July) than is the case with many other species of goldenrod.
  Typically not planted in garden settings because of its spreading rhizomatous growth.
  Tolerates some flooding in spring.
  Plants may be cut back by 1/2 in June to reduce height and minimize the need for staking.
 Further Information

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 Wisconsin Native Plant Nurseries

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