Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Appalachian Goldenrod - Solidago flaccidifolia   Small
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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DistributionApparently restricted to the southern and central Mountains; however, it does occur in far southwestern VA, and thus it could occur farther northward in NC. SERNEC does have specimens from Alleghany, Ashe, Watauga, and Avery counties, which might be correctly identified; if so, the species does range continuous to the VA line. More recent species determinations needs to be made, as there as 2-3 similar species.

VA to KY, south to GA and AL; disjunct to north-central MS.
AbundanceUncommon to locally common, but perhaps overlooked by some biologists as S. caesia or S. curtisii if they are not aware of this taxonomically troubling species. The NCNHP has a rather unhelpful State Rank of SU (undetermined); the website editors suggest a rank of S3? for now, as there are records for most of the Mountain counties (correctly or not).
HabitatMesic to moist slope forests, rocky slopes, ravines. The Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora website mentions that most records in that state are in forests over limestone, and thus favoring high pH soil. However, it is not evident that NC collection sites are in particularly rich, high pH soils.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting September-October.
IdentificationAppalachian Goldenrod is very distinctive from all but a few other goldenrods in having flowering heads in small clusters in the axils of many of the stem leaves, and also terminally. Plants typically grow 2-3 feet tall. It very closely resembles Curtis's Goldenrod (S. curtisii) but differs in its broader and hairier stem leaves, typically only 2-3 times longer than wide, vs. 3-10 times longer than wide in the other species. Bluestem Goldenrod (S. caesia) has a similar inflorescence but has a glaucous stem color, as opposed to green, and it also has leaves 3-10 times longer than wide.
Taxonomic CommentsBy some treated as a variety under S. curtisii; by others lumped entirely.

Other Common Name(s)Mountain Goldenrod
State RankSU [S3?]
Global RankG5
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