Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Wrinkle-leaf Goldenrod - Solidago rugosa var. aspera   (Aiton) Fernald
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(Aiton) Fernald
DistributionCoastal Plain, Sandhills, Piedmont; apparently less frequent in low Mountains. Recent check of all "rugosa" specimens at NCU (UNC-Chapel Hill herbarium) shows plainly that var. aspera is the most widespread and common in NC.

Southern ME to MI and IN, south to northern FL, eastern OK, and eastern TX.
AbundanceUncommon to abundant.
HabitatDry to mesic, less often moist, soils of pine-deciduous woodlands, woodland edges, forest openings, rocky slopes, fields, clearings, powerlines, roadsides.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting August-early November.
IdentificationIn general, members of S. rugosa grow 2-4 feet tall (occasionally to 5 or 6 feet according to FNA) and have widely branching inflorescences with heads along one side of each branch. Stems often are connected via horizontal rhizomes and thus form colonies. Stems vary from densely to lightly hairy with coarse short hairs. Basal leaves are absent at flowering time; stem leaves are lance-shaped or elliptic, sessile (without stalk), the tip pointed, margins toothed, and surfaces +- wrinkled ("rugose"), the upper surface rough (scabrous). Upper stem leaves are smaller. In var. aspera, the inflorescence is much more open and widely branching than in vars. rugosa and cronquistiana, leaf surface is much more wrinkled, thicker textured, and more scabrous. Some plants are quite similar to var. celtidifolia, but the upper stem leaves are elliptic, not as reduced in size (vs. ovate and much reduced). The localized, montane var. cronquistiana has sparse hairs on stems.
Taxonomic CommentsThe entities within S. rugosa have been variously treated (or ignored) in the past; our treatment follows that of FNA and Weakley, except we split out the very different S. aestivalis.

Other Common Name(s)Rough-stemmed Goldenrod
State RankS5
Global RankG5TNR
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