(Solidago altissima)

Interesting Information About Plant:  


     Goldenrod is a very widespread plant. It is found across several continents including Europe, Asia, North Africa, as well as North America. Goldenrod is the flower of several states. This particular species is Kentucky’s state flower. There are somewhere of over one hundred species of the flower and around thirty reside in Kentucky. Goldenrod was once incorrectly thought to create hay fever with it’s pollen, but it was being mistaken with ragweed. Traditionally, Goldenrod has been used as an herb to cure different illnesses. Native America’s used it to cure respiratory problems. Soledago (the genus name) means “to make whole.” It has been used for wound healing as well as diabetes and tuberculosis. Now it is mostly used to help with water loss in the body. The leaves are used for medicinal purposes. They can be dried out and made into a tea that has been found to have a calming effect. It has been used to treat stress and depression.

Scientific Name: Solidago altissima

Family Name (Scientific and Common): Asteraceae / Sunflower

Continent of Origin: North America                   

Plant Growth Habit: Upright Herbaceous

Height at Maturity: Between 3 – 10 Feet

Life Span: Perennial

Seasonal Habit: Herbaceous That Dies Back in Winter       

Growth Habitat: Full Sun 

Manner of Culture: Native

Thorns on Younger Stem: No

Cross Section of Younger Stem: Roundish   

Stem (or Trunk) Diameter: Between The Diameter of a Pencil and a Broom-Handle

Produces Brownish Bark: No

Bark Peeling in Many Areas: No

Characteristics of Mature (Brownish) Bark: No Mature Bark (all green)

Type of Leaf: Flat, Thin Leaf  

Length of Leaf (or Leaflet): Between the Length of a Credit Card and a Writing-Pen    

Leaf Complexity: Simple 

Edge of Leaf: Serrated

Leaf Arrangement: Alternate 

Leaf has Petiole: No

Patterns of Main-Veins on Leaf (or Leaflet): Pinnate 

Leaf Hairiness: No Hairs

Color of Foliage in Summer: Green 

Change in Color of Foliage in October: Changes to Dry Brown

Flowering Season: Summer / Autumn

Flowers: Tightly Clustered 

Type of Flower: Colorful Flower

Color of Flower: Yellow    

Shape of Individual Flower: Bilaterally Symmetrical  

Size of Individual Flower: Smaller than a Quarter  

Sexuality: Male and Female on Same Plant

Size of Fruit: Smaller than a Quarter 

Fruit Fleshiness: Dry

Shape of Fruit: Winged   

Color of Fruit at Maturity: Brown or Dry

Fruit Desirable to Birds or Squirrels: No   

Common Name(s): Goldenrod

Louisville Plants That Are Most Easily Confused With This One: Ragweed

Unique Morphological Features of Plant: Almost all parts can be used in herbal remedies

Poisonous: None of Plant

Pestiness (weedy, hard to control): No


Page prepared by:           

Melissa Metzler             

December 2004


Information - 502.452.8000
© Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY 2002-2004