Solidago canadensis (Canada Goldenrod)

Plant Info
Also known as: Tall Goldenrod
Family:Asteraceae (Aster)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:sun; fields, along roads, open woods
Bloom season:July - October
Plant height:2 to 5 feet
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FACU MW: FACU NCNE: FACU
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 7+petals Cluster type: panicle

Note: this species account is being rewritten. The “Canada Goldenrod complex” in Minnesota consists of Solidago canadensis , S. altissima , S. gigantea (and related S. missouriensis and S. juncea ). These will be eventually be done as a group when we're sure we have them all nailed. Take the county distribution map with a large grain of salt—the herbarium records are from a time when S. canadensis and S. altissima were considered the same species and someone (a glutton for punishment, no doubt) still needs to review the actual specimens and separate them out. Thanks for your patience!

[photo of flowers] Flowers are in plume-shaped spikes branching off the top of the plant, the flowers growing on just one side of a stem. Individual flowers are less than ¼ inch across, with 10 to 17 yellow petals (ray flowers).

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] There can be wide variations in characteristics, but generally, leaves are to 6 inches long and 1 inch wide, tapering to a point at the tip and narrowing at the base, with no leaf stem and small teeth around the edges. There are 3 veins running parallel from near the base of the leaf. The underside of the leaf is hairy, especially along the veins and the upper side has a rough texture. The main stem has lines of fine short hairs in the upper part of the plant; the lower part of the stem may be smooth or hairy.


Canada Goldenrod grows almost anywhere and can form large colonies, crowding out other plants and creating something of a monoculture. Which just goes to show that just because it's native doesn't necessarily mean it's desirable.

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More photos

Photos taken at Long Lake Regional Park, New Brighton, MN September 2006 and August-September 2007


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: mel - New Brighton
on: 2011-08-14 06:39:47

This plant "arrived" in my garden about five years ago. It is the Nebraska state flower and, since I am from Nebraska, I keep it in the garden. It can be aggressive but I just pull out what I don't want.

Posted by: Patty - Edina
on: 2011-08-27 14:16:25

I honestly don't remember planting it. It showed up along our pond and looks beautiful this year - so far!

Posted by: luciearl - Fairview Township
on: 2016-09-05 04:45:14

Seems to be growing everywhere in the ditches. Im seeing a couple different varieties, but not sure on the others.

Posted by: Sheila E - Farmington
on: 2017-08-28 20:34:44

It is growing everywhere? It volunteered in the rock garden at the front of my house, by raised beds in the back yard, in my neighbor's yard and all along the ditches, where it grows wild, along Dodd.

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