Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Yadkin River Goldenrod - Solidago plumosa   Small
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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DistributionRestricted to Stanly and Montgomery counties, only along the Yadkin River. This rare species was thought lost until independently rediscovered by Alan Weakley and Steve Leonard in the same week (!) a few decades ago. It was first collected by John K. Small in 1894, and described as a new species shortly thereafter; but later botanists assigned it to another species, not surprisingly, as who would figure a goldenrod species could be endemic to a tiny strip of river shoreline in central NC?!

Endemic to the central Piedmont of NC.
AbundanceKnown only from a short stretch on both east and west sides of the river. The populations are in good to excellent condition. Normally, a species with a tiny range should and would be Federally listed, but as there is a management agreement among Alcoa and various Federal and state agencies, no such listing is forthcoming -- in part in an attempt not to draw attention of collectors to it.
HabitatDry (but periodically inundated) sand of rocky, ledgey, and bouldery, river-scoured margins of the Yadkin River. Currently the species is restricted to a few places below hydroelectric dams.
See also Habitat Account for Piedmont and Low Mountain Riverscours
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting September-October, depending on water levels.
IdentificationYadkin River Goldenrod grows 1-3 feet tall and has slender (linear to narrowly elliptic) leaves and a long, slender inflorescence of upright branches (i.e., narrowly conical or steeple-shaped). The lowermost stem leaves and basal leaves form a conspicuous tuft. It cannot be misidentified in its specialist habitat, amid rocks along the Yadkin River.
Taxonomic CommentsNone. Even though it had been named over a century ago by Small, hardly any references accepted this species until a few decades ago -- owing to general skepticism of acceptance to species level of any vascular plant limited to only a few acres of habitat.

Other Common Name(s)Plumed Goldenrod, Plumose Goldenrod
State RankS1
Global RankG1
State StatusT
US Status
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B.A. SorrieMontgomery County, same data. MontgomeryPhoto_natural
B.A. SorrieMontgomery County, 1999, Yadkin River below Badin Lake. MontgomeryPhoto_natural

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