Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Early Goldenrod - Solidago juncea   Aiton
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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DistributionMountains east to the central Piedmont. The map below is tentative; a number of specimens purported to be Early Goldenrod turn out to be S. pinetorum (e.g., Wake County) or some other species (and those counties are thus deleted), while others that have been mapped need to be double-checked.

N.S. to MN, south to GA and LA.
AbundanceUncommon to locally fairly common in the Mountains, but can be common in the northern counties. Rare to uncommon in the Piedmont foothills, but rare into the central Piedmont.
HabitatMostly mesic or dry soils of meadows, fields, woodland and forest openings and edges, roadsides, montane outcrops.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting mid July-September. Plants are often accompanied by non-flowering basal rosettes connected via horizontal rhizomes; these leaves will develop next year's flowering shoots.
IdentificationEarly Goldenrod is quite robust, typically grows 2-4 feet tall, with a terminal inflorescence of ascending-arching branches, the lower ones longest. Basal leaves are usually, but not always, present and are large, narrowly ovate or elliptical, tapered to a winged stalk, and toothed on the margins. Stem leaves gradually become smaller up the stem, and often have small fascicles of leaves in their axils. Stems and leaves are glabrous (smooth, hairless) -- an important character. Members of the S. arguta group may be confused with Early Goldenrod, but var. arguta has broader, ovate basal leaves and var. caroliniana has a more open, long-branching inflorescence. S. pinetorum has much more slender leaves throughout the plant, and usually does not have small leaves in the axils; that species has only 3-7 ray florets as opposed to 7-13 rays in S. juncea.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Plume Goldenrod
State RankS3? [S3S4]
Global RankG5
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US Status
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B.A. SorrieBlue Ridge Parkway, late Aug 2014. AveryPhoto_natural
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