Old Field Goldenrod, Solidago nemoralis

Old Field Goldenrod

Solidago nemoralis

Benefits:
Sun Shade:
Bloom Time: Late Summer/Early Fall
Zones: 2, 3, 4, 5
Soil Conditions: Loam, Sand, Rocky
Soil Moisture: Medium, Dry
Color: Yellow
Fragrance: Yes
Height: 6 to 24 inches
Spacing: 2 feet


Description

Old Field Goldenrod (Solidago nemerosa) is a rhizomatous, upright perennial of the sunflower family that typically grows to a very compact 6 inches to 24 inches tall. It is one of the smallest of the many species of goldenrod. It is found in a variety of locations including old or fallow fields, dry open ground, prairies, leached or eroded slopes, glades, loess hills, dry open woods, thickets, roadsides and along railroads. This is an erect perennial that typically features a clump of 1-6 unbranched gray-green stems densely covered with short white hairs. Stems are clad with alternate, narrow lanceolate to oblanceolate, gray green leaves (to 4 inches long and ¾ inches wide) with fine hairy surfaces. Larger lower leaves have winged petioles and toothed margins. Smaller upper leaves lack winged petioles and toothed margins.

Flowering from August to November and lasts about a month, the stems are topped with narrow, often downward-arching, one-sided, bright yellow flower plumes (panicles to 4-10 inches long), with the flowerheads (each to ¼-inch across”) primarily located on the upper side of each panicle. Flower heads are replaced after bloom by hairy achenes. After the blooming period, the flower heads are replaced by achenes that develop tufts of hair; they are dispersed by the wind. The root system consists of a small caudex (at least on older plants) with fibrous roots and rhizomes. At suitable locations, Field Goldenrod has a tendency to form clonal colonies.

Habitats include upland areas of black soil prairies, gravel prairies, sand prairies, hill prairies, thinly wooded bluffs, sandy savannas, sand dunes, fence rows, abandoned fields, eroded clay banks, roadsides, and areas along railroads. This goldenrod is found in both degraded and higher quality habitats.

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, slightly acidic, well-drained soils in full sun. Prefers full sun and dry soil. Tolerates light shade. Likes rocky, sandy soils. Tolerates poor soils, but plants generally grow taller and more vigorously in rich soils. This is a rhizomatous, spreading, somewhat weedy plant that can colonize an area by creeping rhizomes and self-seeding. Removal of flower heads prior to ripening of seed will help prevent seed dispersal.

Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
   Good choice for challenging areas with poor soils.
  Intolerant of full shade.
Further Information

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 Widsconsin Edible Plants-Eat On The Wild Side
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 Wisconsin Native Plant Nurseries