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, Piedmont, and most of the Coastal Plain, but scarce in the northeastern counties.

ME to southern Ont. and MO, south to central FL and eastern TX.
AbundanceCommon in the Mountains and Piedmont; generally common in the Coastal Plain, except rare to absent in the northeastern counties.
HabitatMesic to dry hardwood and pine-hardwood forests, cove hardwoods, rocky slopes and bluffs, slopes and narrow floodplains along brownwater rivers, pine flatwoods and savannas, pins-oak-hickory-dogwood slopes. This is one of the more forest-associated species of goldenrod in the state, especially so in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain, seldom occurring in full sun of clearings and meadows.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting August-November.
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 other variety -- var. caroliniana -- 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 varieties. This is a familiar upland forest species, typically distinguished by its rather large ovate to elliptical basal leaves with long stalks. As mentioned below, the taxonomy is a bit unsettled, and it is possible that two species are included here, such that the two varieties might warrant designation as full species.
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 (2018), 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
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpUPL link
USACE-empUPL link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
B.A. SorrieMoore County, same data. Basal leaves. MoorePhoto_natural
B.A. SorrieMoore County, 2013, Weymouth Woods SNA, oak-hickory-dogwood slope. MoorePhoto_natural
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