Goldenrod: Beyond Solidago

This tale was originally published by Loret T. Setters on November 13, 2013 at the defunct national blog nativeplantwildlifegarden[dot]com. Click the date to view reader comments and find working links to other stories.

Slender Flattop Goldenrod is a member of the Euthamia Genus
Slender Flattop Goldenrod is a member of the Euthamia Genus

Most often when you hear the flower common name “Goldenrod”, people are referring to Solidago Spp.

Flattop Goldenrod
Flattop Goldenrod

In my garden, I have two others that are aptly named Goldenrod because of their showy color, but are not in the Solidago Genus.

Euthamia caroliniana is a favorite of pollinators such as this wasp
Euthamia caroliniana is a favorite of pollinators such as this wasp

First up, a favorite of all pollinators: Slender Flattop Goldenrod (Euthamia caroliniana). This Goldenrod is a medium height perennial with bright yellow flowers. It is shrub-like at 1-3 foot and prefers moist to wet soils.  The flowers form into a flat-topped look…thus the descriptive common name.

Flattop Goldenrod
Flattop Goldenrod

Happy in full sun to partial shade, you can propagate by seed or division of the rhizomes. Blooms August through December keeping the garden drenched in golden color when some of the Solidago species are losing their color and turning to seed.   This beauty really brightens up the landscape.

Pineland Goldenrod is slow to open up
Pineland Goldenrod is slow to open up

Another interesting and bright perennial wildflower in the late season Florida garden is Pineland Rayless Goldenrod (Bigelowia nudata subsp. australis).  This subspecies is endemic to peninsula Florida.   I find it interesting that this wildflower seems to have a flatter top than Euthamia…so much for common names holding up to strict descriptive accuracy.  The blooms take forever to fully open up and show their true beauty, thereby giving a long and productive color season lasting well beyond the autumn experience of many of the Solidago species available in Florida.

When Pineland Goldenrod does show it’s fully opened blooms, the results are outstanding
When Pineland Goldenrod does show it’s fully opened blooms, the results are outstanding

So, when going for the gold, consider adding these two beauties to extend the season a little beyond.

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