Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Graceful Goldenrod - Solidago gracillima   Torrey & A. Gray
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Solidago with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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AuthorTorrey & A. Gray
DistributionThere is no consensus yet among botanists that Graceful Goldenrod and Southern Goldenrod (S. austrina) are truly two distinct species or even varieties. This website follows Weakley (2020) for now and lists both entities as full species; however, in theory, the website editors feel that until the dust settles, it is best to lump the two, with the name S. gracillima having priority. Those who wish to distinguish the two can use the key in Weakley (2020). In NC, it occurs mainly in the Sandhills, lower Piedmont, and southeastern Coastal Plain. No records for the northern half of the Coastal Plain, despite it being listed for VA. However, the Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora website does not include this species.

Mostly Coastal Plain, VA to northern FL and southern AL.
AbundanceThe NCNHP currently has a State Rank of S3, and on the Watch List. However, the website editors recommend deleting it from the Watch List, as the species is under no particular threats at this time. It can be fairly common in the Sandhills, and uncommon to locally fairly common to the southeast toward the coast. Populations vary in number of plants from uncommon to common. A State Rank of S3S4, if not even S4, seems appropriate.
HabitatMoist to wet blackwater streamhead ecotones, Longleaf Pine-Wiregrass savannas and flatwoods, seepage areas in the eastern Piedmont.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting August-October.
IdentificationThis species is distinct in its slender stem with many small, erect, stalkless leaves and a terminal inflorescence. The latter varies from a simple, curved spike to a triangular-shape with short, curved branches. In NC it can be confused with Southern Wand Goldenrod (S. virgata), but that species is taller, has untoothed basal leaves (vs. many small teeth), and always has a simple spikelike inflorescence. It may also be confused with Carolina Goldenrod (S. pulchra), but that species is short(er) and has 8-13 ray florets per head (vs. just 1-8 rays).
Taxonomic CommentsSee comments under Distribution. There is agreement among botanists that gracillima/austrina is distinct from virgata (formerly stricta), having distinct morphology and habitats.

Other Common Name(s)Virginia Goldenrod (an odd name, as it is not certain to occur there), Southern Bog Goldenrod
State RankS3 [S3S4]
Global RankG4?
State StatusW1
US Status
USACE-agcpOBL link
USACE-empOBL link
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