Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Dusty Downy Goldenrod - Solidago pulverulenta   Nuttall
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AuthorNuttall
DistributionCoastal Plain, Sandhills, and lower to middle Piedmont, west only to Person, Rowan, and Cabarrus counties.

Mostly Coastal Plain, southeastern VA to northern FL and LA.
AbundanceFrequent to common in the southern half of the Coastal Plain, including the Sandhills. Uncommon in the northern half of the Coastal Plain; mostly rare in the eastern and southeastern Piedmont, more numerous in the southern counties.
HabitatDry to mesic or moist soils of pine-deciduous woodlands and forest openings, clearings, clearcuts, roadsides. Occasionally in Longleaf Pine-Wiregrass savannas and flatwoods, but mostly where disturbed. Generally found in acidic soils near or under pines, often where the ground is damp or somewhat so, but it is not found in overly wet sites.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting late August-October.
IdentificationDusty Downy Goldenrod grows 1.5-3 feet tall, the stems and leaves covered with tiny whitish hairs that usually give the plant a grayish-green tone. The inflorescence is elliptical to narrowly tubular in outline and tapered to both ends. In the field it resembles S. erecta, but that plant is smooth (glabrous). S. speciosa is usually much taller (3-6 feet) and its involucral bracts have rounded tips (vs. acute). Its closest ally is S. puberula, which differs in fewer leaves per stem (20-60 vs. 50-100+) and longer leaves (4-5 cm vs. less than 4 cm in S. pulverulenta). Also, S. puberula is a montane species in NC, though it has been recorded once in Cabarrus County, in the central Piedmont.
Taxonomic CommentsSolidago pulverulenta has been treated as a variety or a subspecies of S. puberula by some authors. Most authors still do not consider it as a valid species, such as NatureServe, but Weakley (2018) does. Semple et al. (2020) also treat it as a full species.

Other Common Name(s)There seem to be no common names online, as these references have the taxon still grouped under S. puberula, with the Downy Goldenrod name. That common name is "reserved" for S. puberula. As "pulverulenta" means "dusty", a common name is here listed as Dusty Downy Goldenrod. This makes "Downy Goldenrod" a nested name, and thus S. puberula should have a modifier, but none is mentioned. However, naming S. pulverulenta simply as Dusty Goldenrod is not quite appropriate.
State RankS4? [S5]
Global RankG5T4T5 [G4G5]
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B.A. SorrieMoore County, same data. MoorePhoto_natural
B.A. SorrieMoore County, 2018, roadside, Whispering Pines. MoorePhoto_natural

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