One of the smallest of the many species of goldenrod. Clumps of slender, gray, downy stems arch out and downward creating a vase-shaped appearance. Stems bear thin, coarsely toothed, gray-green downy leaves. Bright yellow, terminal flower plumes appear on one side of the stem.
Attracts bees, birds, butterflies. Special value to native bees. Supports beneficial insects.
Prefers full sun and dry soil. Tolerates light shade but is intolerant of full shade. Tolerates poor soils, but plants generally grow taller and more vigorously in rich soils. Spreads by creeping rhizomes and self-seeding. Removal of flower heads prior to the ripening of seed will help prevent seed dispersal, but will disappoint the birds.
Good choice for challenging areas with poor soils where other types of plants are difficult to grow. An under-utilized species that grows shorter and less aggressively than the more common tall goldenrod. S. nemoralis works well in a low wildflower meadow, a sunny garden, or as a cut flower.
Height: 0.5-2 ft.
Spread: 0.5-2 ft.
Bloom time: August to September
Sun: full sun
Water: dry to medium
According to Rutgers University, Solidago spp. are “seldom severely damaged” by deer.
photo credit: Joshua Maye