Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Tall Goldenrod - Solidago altissima   L.
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Solidago with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
AuthorL.
DistributionThroughout the state, including the Outer Banks. Taxon editors do not recognize var. pluricephala (which see); we simply treat the species in NC as having no varieties.

N.S. to Sask., south to northern GA, AR, and OK.
AbundanceGenerally abundant across the state, perhaps slightly less so in the far northeastern corner of the state. One of the most numerous native dicot species in the state.
HabitatDry to mesic to moist fields, meadows, woodland and forest clearings, clearcuts, powerlines, roadsides. Can be the dominant plant a few years after abandonment of a clearing/cropland.
See also Habitat Account for General Successional Fields and Forblands
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting August-October.
IdentificationTall Goldenrod is among our tallest goldenrod species, and should be familiar to all people. It typically grows to 3-6 feet but can be as much as 7.5 feet. Stems are very leafy, the leaves lance-shape, tapered to a point, and toothed on margins. Stems are hairy; the leaves are very short-hairy beneath and rough above. The inflorescence is typically triangular in outline and tapers to a point; the branches are usually curved. It closely resembles Giant Goldenrod (S. gigantea), but that species has glabrous stems which are also glaucescent (can appear whitish or pinkish in color); that species is essentially restricted to wetlands, though Tall Goldenrod can grow with it in wetlands.
Taxonomic CommentsIn NC the website editors do not recognize any infraspecific taxa at this time (see text for var. pluricephala).

Other Common Name(s)Canada Goldenrod, Late Goldenrod
State RankS5
Global RankG5
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B.A. SorrieMoore County, 2010, moist roadside ditch. MoorePhoto_natural
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