Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Northern Seaside Goldenrod - Solidago sempervirens   L.
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 the northern Outer Banks, where it reaches its southern range limit. Note that most records of "S. sempervirens" now refer to the recently split out S. mexicana.

Maritime, Newf. to NC.
AbundanceNot well known owing to confusion with the much more widespread S. mexicana. Perhaps rare to uncommon. The other species occurs in all coastal counties and is apparently common in all of them.
HabitatUpper ocean beaches, storm overwash areas, stable dune barrens, interdune swales, upper margins of brackish marshes. Preferred habitats are drier than those of S. mexicana.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting late August - mid November.
IdentificationThis species grows mostly 2-4 feet tall, often several stems in a bunch; stems vary from prostrate to rather erect. Stems and leaves are glabrous and thick-textured. Leaves are lance-shape, untoothed, succulent (fleshy to the touch), taper-pointed; middle and upper ones are strongly ascending to erect, while lower ones may be somewhat spreading. The inflorescence has short-spreading branches (i.e., generally compact) and heads grow only on one side of each branch. It is distinguished from its close relative S. mexicana by its less erect habit, more succulent foliage, short-spreading inflorescence branches, and drier and sandier habitat preference. Weakley (2018) also says that this species has 12-17 rays per flower, as opposed to only 7-11 rays in S. mexicana; and this species has its larger leaves more than 3 cm wide, as opposed to less than 3 cm wide in the other species. The Outer Banks lie in the zone of overlap and occasional plants are difficult to tell apart.
Taxonomic CommentsTreated by some authors as including S. mexicana as a variety or subspecies.

Other Common Name(s)Almost always called just Seaside Goldenrod, but that is for the combined two coastal species. With the splitting out of S. mexicana as Southern Seaside Goldenrod, this species must instead be named as Northern Seaside Goldenrod or something similar to that.
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B.A. SorrieDare County, 2013, Jockeys Ridge SP, low dune. DareBIUPhoto_natural
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