Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Midwestern Stiff Goldenrod - Solidago rigida   L.
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Solidago with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Family Asteraceae
AuthorL.
DistributionIn NC, restricted to the Mountains. Weakley (2018) maps it also in the Piedmont, but specimens need to be closely examined. A Swain County specimen (at CONV) is misidentified. This is the taxon formerly listed as Oligoneuron rigidum var. rigidum, now elevated to full species by Weakley (2020). But, in 2022, Weakley moved the genus members back to Solidago -- this now as S. rigida.

MA to southern Ont., MN, and NE, south to NC, TN, AR, and TX.
AbundanceVery rare to rare, and declining, in the Mountains (with few extant sites). This is a State Threatened species.
HabitatHabitat data are poorly known for NC specimens: roadbanks, railroad bank, and "between Barnard Station and Bald Mt." (Yancey Co.).
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting August-October.
IdentificationThe two Stiff Goldenrods are distinct among our species in having spreading, rather flat-topped inflorescences and elliptical stem leaves. Stems grow 3-6 feet from a basal rosette of stalked, lance-shape to elliptical leaves. Stem leaves are generally stalkless, elliptical, and with blunt marginal teeth. Midwestern Stiff Goldenrod differs from S. jacksonii in its moderately to densely short-hairy stems (vs. glabrate) and short-hairy outer involucral bracts (vs. glabrous).
Taxonomic CommentsIn 2020, Weakley transferred Solidago rigida to Oligoneuron, following Nesom (paper in Phytoneuron 2020). While not without controversy, the recognition of the latter genus has gained favor among geneticists and botanists in recent years. However, we regard the elevation of the 2 varieties of rigidum to full species status to be premature and want to see additional published research. Nonetheless, as the NC Plant Conservation Program (2021) now lists these two taxa as full species -- O. jacksonii and O. rigidum -- this website reluctantly followed that, as these are not legally listed names. In 2022, Weakley moved the taxon back to Solidago rigida.

Other Common Name(s)Stiff-leaved Goldenrod, Bold Goldenrod, Prairie Bold Goldenrod
State RankS1
Global RankG5T5 [G5]
State StatusT
US Status
USACE-agcpFACU link
USACE-empUPL link
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