Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Canada Goldenrod - Solidago canadensis   L.
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Solidago with account distribution info or public map:
Google Images
Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
DistributionThis species was first reported in the state in 2008, according to Weakley (2018). He states that it is "Likely much more common than assumed, but misrepresented due to taxonomic confusion with S. altissima". Note that the old Solidago altissima was moved over to S. canadensis for several decades, but many references such as Weakley (2018) have moved the original S. altissima back to that species name again. What this means is that many herbarium specimen labels in the SERNEC database still retain the scientific name of Solidago canadensis, with specimens all across the state. These, of course, are now referable to S. altissima. As far as currently known, at middle to high elevations in the northern Mountains. A specimen from Rutherford County needs a careful ID check; another from Rowan County appears to be S. altissima.

VT to MN, south to NC, TN, IL, and IA.
AbundanceVery poorly known, but presumably rare, as northwestern NC seems to be at the southeastern edge of the range. The website editors, however, prefer to go with an uncertain rank of [S1?] rather than a straight [S1]. The editors recommend a status of Watch List, if not Significantly Rare.
Habitat"Mesic alluvial soils by creek", "cut-over embankment", "roadside", "edge of hardwood forest", "Elk Knob, clearing by barn." Thus, it shows a preference for disturbed habitats. As a result, it may well not be a rare species in northwestern NC, as its habitats are quite common.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting August-October.
IdentificationCanada Goldenrod is, in essence, a short version of Tall Goldenrod (S. altissima), seldom over 4 feet tall (vs. up to 6 feet tall). It differs in having leaf margins with well-developed teeth (vs. untoothed or poorly developed). The inflorescence of Canada Goldenrod is usually a broader shape (broadly pyramidal vs. elongate pyramidal). Peterson and McKenny (1968) mentions that this species has the stems smooth at the base but downy near the top (as opposed to rough in texture for Tall Goldenrod), and the leaves are usually smooth, as opposed to rough on the upper surface in Tall Goldenrod.
Taxonomic CommentsOnly the var. hargeri occurs in NC; the nominate variety of Canada Goldenrod reaches south to northern VA.

Other Common Name(s)Common Goldenrod, Canadian Goldenrod
State Rank[S1?]
Global RankG5
State Status[W7]
US Status
USACE-agcpFACU link
USACE-empFACU link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
B.A. SorrieConcord, MA, meadow, 1970s. Photo_non_NCPhoto_non_NC
Select a source
Select an occurrence type