Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Cutleaf Goldenrod - Solidago arguta   Aiton
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Solidago with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
DistributionMountains and Piedmont; disjunct to Pitt County (along Tar River). Many of the records of "S. arguta" belong to S. vaseyi, which was the former S. arguta var. caroliniana. The former S. arguta var. arguta has been elevated to full species status by Semple and others in a 2021 paper.

"ME and s. ON west to MO, south to NC and TN" (Weakley 2022).
AbundanceCommon in the Mountains, but less common in the Piedmont; very rare into the western Coastal Plain. Abundance confused with S. vaseyi, which also occurs in these regions and is often common.
HabitatMesic to dry hardwood and pine-hardwood forests, cove hardwoods, rocky slopes and bluffs, slopes and narrow floodplains along brownwater rivers
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting August-October.
IdentificationCutleaf Goldenrod grows 2-3 feet tall from a rosette of ovate, sharply toothed, basal leaves with winged stalks. Stem leaves become gradually smaller upwards, narrower, less toothed, and eventually stalkless. The inflorescence is narrowly triangular in outline, with lower and middle branches curving out and down. The very similar S. vaseyi can be told by its smaller and narrower leaves, less leafy appearance in general, and by its long and slender branches, giving the inflorescence a much more open aspect. However, individual specimens and populations can be problematic to differentiate between these two taxa. These two taxa are familiar upland forest species, typically distinguished by the rather large ovate to elliptical basal leaves with long stalks.
Taxonomic CommentsThis species has traditionally been a difficult complex of entities, and there is even today much disagreement as to which taxa to recognize, and at which State Rank. We follow Weakley (2022), but caution that not all specimens will key cleanly. Apparently, var. boottii does not occur in NC, but from SC south and west.

Other Common Name(s)Atlantic Goldenrod, Forest Goldenrod, Sharp-leaved Goldenrod
State RankS5? [S5]
Global RankG5
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US Status
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USACE-empUPL link
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