Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Twistleaf Goldenrod - Solidago tortifolia   Elliott
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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DistributionSouthern Coastal Plain, including Sandhills; ranges north to Richmond, Hoke, and formerly Jones counties. As it is still extant at a few sites in southeastern VA, it could occur farther north in NC.

Coastal Plain, southeastern VA to southern FL, TX, and AR.
AbundanceRare over the southern Coastal Plain and Sandhills. Formerly rare to uncommon, but for a few decades in the latter part of 20th Century it was "missing in action", with no known extant sites. Thankfully, a handful of recent discoveries have been made in the last 20 years, though only three sites seemingly have sizable populations. Best now called "rare and declining". It is State Endangered.
HabitatDry to mesic loamy sand soil of Longleaf Pine-Wiregrass uplands and flats. Does best where subjected to recurring fires. Generally not found on sloping topography and in dry sands, and Weakley's (2018) habitat description of "Longleaf pine sandhills and other dry pinelands" certainly is too general and is misleading.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting August-October.
IdentificationTwistleaf Goldenrod grows 1.5-2.5 (-3) feet tall from long, narrow horizontal rhizomes -- and thus often forms dense patches. Leaves are all along the stem (no basal ones), numerous, linear to narrowly elliptic, 1-3 inches long, generally stalkless, margins with small teeth, and often twisted. Also, the many dozens of leaves are all about the same length, from bottom to top of the stem. The inflorescence varies from short and triangular in outline to longer and with short, curved branches. No other goldenrod looks quite like it, with the dozens to seemingly 100 or more short, narrow, step-like leaves -- making the inflorescence look overly large and too big to support.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Leafy Pineywoods Goldenrod
State RankS1
Global RankG4G5
State StatusE
US Status
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B.A. SorrieScotland County, same data. ScotlandPhoto_natural
B.A. SorrieScotland County, 2015, Sandhills Game Land, loamy sand flat E of US 15-501 and N of Gardner Farm Lane. ScotlandPhoto_natural
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