Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Prairie Goldenrod - Solidago ptarmicoides   (Torrey & A. Gray) B. Boivin
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Solidago with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Family Asteraceae
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Author(Torrey & A. Gray) B. Boivin
DistributionSo far as is known, found only in Granville County (Picture Creek Diabase Barrens), where still extant, and historically from Rowan County ("vicinity of Faith Post Office" in 1891). The Granville population was not discovered until 1986. The Rowan County record had presumably been overlooked when RAB (1968) was published.

VT and MA to Sask., south to northwestern GA, AR, and CO. Disjunct to NC and SC; not known from VA.
AbundanceExtremely rare, currently known from a single NC site. Thankfully, it is on protected State land, with a large population. This is a State Endangered species.
HabitatMafic open barrens over diabase rock (Granville County). The Rowan County specimens do not have any habitat data, but likely also are fom mafic situations. The species is a "prairie plant", requiring full sun, high pH soil, and management (such as mowing or burning) to keep the habitat relatively free of woody competition.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting August-October.
IdentificationPrairie Goldenrod has long (for a goldenrod), white ray florets, yellowish disks, and a wide-open branched inflorescence. The species is rather short, usually just 1-1.5 feet tall; and it contains scattered, narrow, and stiff/thick grass-like stem leaves, mostly ascending. Thus, it appears in the field to be a short-rayed, white-flowered aster. Perhaps it looks most like Sericocarpus linifolius, but that species has a more compact inflorescence, longer ray florets, and is densely leafy.
Taxonomic CommentsIn the past it has been placed in Aster and Solidago, but not without controversy. The most recent claim for Oligoneuron is by Nesom (Phytoneuron 2020) and is supported by Weakley (2020). Previously known as Solidago ptarmicoides -- and returned back to Solidago ptarmicoides by Weakley (2022).

Other Common Name(s)Upland White Goldenrod, White Prairie Goldenrod, and several "aster" names, as well as a number of other names. There is, simply, no well used common name.
State RankS1
Global RankG5
State StatusE
US Status
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B.A. SorriePicture Creek Diabase Barren, edge of powerline, August 2014. GranvillePhoto_natural
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