Overview

Comprehensive Description

Comments

This is one of the more attractive goldenrods. It has a unique appearance and is easy to distinguish from other goldenrods
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Description

This native perennial plant is 2-5' tall and unbranched, except near the inflorescence. The central stem is covered with fine white hairs. The basal leaves are up to 10" long and 5" wide, while much smaller leaves alternate upward along the central stem. These leaves are light green and pubescent; their margins are smooth or slightly serrated. They are variably shaped, appearing lanceolate, oblanceolate, oblong, or oval, but always with blunt tips. Initially, the leaves have a soft floppy texture, but they become more stiff later in the year. The basal leaves often persist through the winter and are semi-evergreen. At the apex of the central stem is a corymb of small yellow flowers. This inflorescence is about 2-4" across, while each flower is ¼–½" across. The upper side stems also produce corymbs of these flowers, which are more or less all bunched together. There is a mild floral fragrance. The blooming period occurs from late summer to fall, and lasts about a month. The achenes have small tufts of white or light brown hair, and are distributed by the wind. This plant has deep fibrous roots, and it has a tendency to form offsets. Cultivation
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Description

Stiff goldenrod is a native perennial recognized by its broad, flat-topped inflorescence (cluster of flowers). The plant is a member of the Asteraceae, or aster family. It attains a height of over one meter. It flowers during the fall. The goldenrod flowers are like miniature asters and are all yellow. They are arranged in an inflorescence which is about 15 cm across and flat across the top. The leaves of goldenrod are stiff, rough textured and are alternately arranged on the stem. The leaves on the lower part of the plant are oblong and have short petioles. The upper leaves are lance-shaped and stalkless; there are also longer basal leaves that overwinter.

Stiff goldenrod is more palatable than other members of the goldenrod group but is still infrequently grazed. It behaves in a prairie as an invader, i.e. it tends to come into pastures in greater amount when the prairie has been weakened by grazing.

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Alternative names

Solidago rigida L., rigid goldenrod

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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Stiff Goldenrod occurs in most counties of Illinois and is fairly common, but it is rare or absent in parts of southern Illinois (see Distribution Map). Habitats include moist to slightly dry black soil prairies, clay prairies, savannas, thickets, limestone glades, abandoned fields, roadsides, and open areas along railroads, particularly where prairie remnants occur. Faunal Associations
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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: This goldenrod ranges from Rhode Island, Connecticut, western Massachusetts, and New York, south to Georgia, and west to Minnesota and Missouri.

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Distribution and adaptation

Goldenrod grows in prairies and dry woods from

Massachusetts to Saskatchewan, south to Texas

and Georgia.

For a current distribution map, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Website.

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Plants 30–150 cm ; caudices branching, woody. Stems 1–10+, erect, stout, hairy. Leaves: basal and proximal cauline usually present at flowering, abruptly narrowed to long petioles, blades ovate to rhombic, 80–200 × 24–50 mm, firm, flat, margins entire to crenate, sometimes undulate, apices obtuse to acute, faces densely hairy; mid to distal cauline sessile, blades ovate, 30–50 × 15–17 mm, stiff, greatly reduced distally, margins entire or finely serrate, sometimes undulate, apices acute to obtuse. Heads 9–190, in corymbiform arrays, compact or branches long and spreading, densely hairy throughout. Peduncles 3–15 mm, strigillose-canescent, bracteoles 1–3, linear-lanceolate. Involucres campanulate, 6–8 mm. Phyllaries in 3–4 series, unequal, oblong, conspicuously striate (3–5 pronounced nerves), obtuse. Ray florets 6–13; laminae 1.4–5.4 × 1.2–1.9 mm. Disc florets 14–35; corollas 4.3–6.1 mm, lobes 0.6–1.1 mm. Cypselae (obconic) 0.8–1.7 mm (ribbed), glabrous or strigillose apically; pappi 3–4 mm.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Aster rigidus (Linnaeus) Kuntze; Oligoneuron rigidum (Linnaeus) Small
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Stiff Goldenrod occurs in most counties of Illinois and is fairly common, but it is rare or absent in parts of southern Illinois (see Distribution Map). Habitats include moist to slightly dry black soil prairies, clay prairies, savannas, thickets, limestone glades, abandoned fields, roadsides, and open areas along railroads, particularly where prairie remnants occur. Faunal Associations
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Dispersal

Establishment

Prepare a clean weed free seedbed by disking and harrowing. Firm the seedbed by cultipacking. The seedbed should be firm enough to allow the seed to be planted ¼ inch deep. A seeder with a legume box works well in the seeding operation, although other types of seeders or drills may be used. Stiff goldenrod is easily propagated from seed. Seed sown in spring will produce transplants in one season. For permanent plantings, use transplants in fall or spring. Plants are largely cross-pollinated.

Fertilizer: Apply no fertilizer during the establishment year unless soil test indicates a severe deficiency of potassium and/or phosphorus. Use no nitrogen during the establishment year as this can encourage weed competition.

Seeding Rates: Adequate seeding rates for stiff goldenrod should be about ¼ pound of pure live seed (PLS) in a mixture. One pound (PLS) per acre is sufficient for seed production plantings. There are approximately 770,000 clean seeds in one pound of stiff goldenrod.

Seeding Dates: Sow unstratified seed in the fall, November to March, stratified seed in the spring, April to May.

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Associations

Flower-Visiting Insects of Stiff Goldenrod in Illinois

Solidago rigida (Stiff Goldenrod)
(Also referred to as Oligoneuron rigidum; bees collect pollen or suck nectar, flies & beetles feed on pollen or suck nectar; other insects suck nectar; some observations are from Reed, Evans, Petersen, Moure & Hurd, Hilty, and Krombein et al. as indicated below, otherwise they are from Robertson)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae):
Apis mellifera sn (Rb, Ev, Re); Apidae (Bombini): Bombus affinis (Re), Bombus auricomus (Re), Bombus bimaculatus (Ev, Pt), Bombus griseocallis (Re), Bombus impatiens sn cp (Rb, Ev, Re), Bombus pensylvanica sn fq, Bombus vagans (Re), Psithyrus ashtoni sn (Re), Psithyrus variabilis sn; Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina dupla dupla (Ev); Anthophoridae (Eucerini): Melissodes dentiventris sn cp fq (Rb, Re), Melissodes illata (Re), Melissodes nivea sn, Melissodes rustica (Re), Svastra obliqua obliqua sn cp; Anthophoridae (Xylocopini): Xylocopa virginica (H); Megachilidae (Megachilini): Megachile brevis brevis sn cp, Megachile latimanus sn (Rb, Re), Megachile mendica (Ev), Megachile relativa (Re); Megachilidae (Trypetini): Heriades variolosa variolosa (Kr)

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Doufoureinae): Doufourea marginata marginata (MH); Halictidae (Halictinae): Agapostemon virescens (Ev), Augochlorella striata (Re), Halictus confusus (Re), Halictus ligatus (Re), Halictus rubicunda (Ev, MH), Lasioglossum sp. (Re), Lasioglossum coriaceus (Re), Lasioglossum pectoralis (Ev), Lasioglossum pilosus pilosus (Ev, Re), Lasioglossum rohweri (Re), Lasioglossum versatus sn; Halictidae (Nomiinae): Nomia nortoni nortoni (MH, Kr), Nomia triangulifera (MH); Halictidae (Sphecodini): Sphecodes sp. sn (Re); Colletidae (Colletinae): Colletes americana sn cp, Colletes compactus sn, Colletes simulans armata cp olg (Ev, Re); Colletidae (Hylaeinae): Hylaeus affinis (Ev), Hylaeus mesillae (Re); Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena sp. (Re), Andrena asteris (Re, Kr), Andrena helianthi (Re, Kr), Andrena hirticincta cp olg (Re), Andrena nubecula cp olg (Re), Andrena placata cp olg (Re), Andrena simplex cp olg (Re, Kr); Andrenidae (Panurginae): Calliopsis coloradensis (Kr), Heterosarus nebrascensis (Re)

Wasps
Sphecidae (Crabroninae): Ectemnius rufifemur, Lestica confluentus; Sphecidae (Philanthinae): Cerceris compacta, Cerceris prominens, Philanthus ventilabris (Re); Sphecidae (Sphecinae): Ammophila procera, Ammophila urnaria (Re), Prionyx atrata, Prionyx thomae, Sphex ichneumonea (Re), Sphex pensylvanica (Re); Tiphiidae: Myzinum quinquecincta (Re); Vespidae: Polistes annularis, Polistes fuscata (Rb, Re); Vespidae (Eumeninae): Ancistrocerus adiabatus fq, Ancistrocerus antilope, Ancistrocerus catskill (Re), Euodynerus annulatus, Euodynerus foraminatus (Rb, Re), Leionotus scrophulariae (Rb,MS); Pompilidae: Ageniella conflicta; Ichneumonidae: Ceratogastra ornata (Re)

Flies
Syrphidae: Eristalis barda (Re), Eristalis dimidiatus (Re), Eristalis stipator (Re), Eristalis tenax (Re), Helophilus fasciatus (Re), Paragus bicolor sn, Paragus tibialis fp np, Sphaerophoria sp. (Re), Sphaerophoria contiqua sn, Syritta sp. (Re), Syritta pipiens sn, Toxomerus geminatus (Re), Toxomerus marginatus (Re); Bombyliidae: Sparnopolius confusus sn fq; Conopidae: Stylogaster biannulata sn; Tachinidae: Cylindromyia binotata (Re), Gymnoclytia occidua sn, Linnaemya comta sn, Spallanzania hesperidarum sn; Sarcophagidae: Amobia aurifrons sn, Ravinia anxia sn; Calliphoridae: Cochliomyia macellaria sn; Muscidae: Neomyia cornicina sn

Butterflies
Nymphalidae: Danaus plexippus (H, Re), Junonia coenia (H), Limenitis archippus; Lycaenidae: Everes comyntas, Lycaena phlaeas americana; Pieridae: Colias sp. (Re), Colias eurytheme (H), Pieris rapae (H)

Skippers
Hesperiidae: Polites origenes (H), Polites peckius (Rb, H)

Moths
Ctenuchidae: Cisseps fulvicollis (H, Re); Noctuidae: Caenurgina erechtea, Helicoverpa zea (H)

Beetles
Cantharidae: Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus sn fq (Rb, H, Re); Cerambycidae: Megacyllene robiniae (Re); Chrysomelidae: Diabrotica sp. (Re), Diabrotica longicornis fp np fq, Diabrotica undecimpunctata fp np, Luperaltica nigripalpis (Re); Meloidae: Epicauta pensylvanica fp np fq (Rb, Re)

Plant Bugs
Miridae: Adelphocoris lineolatus (Re); Pentatomidae: Euschistus sp. (Re); Phymatidae: Phymata pennsylvanica prd (Re); Reduviidae: Sinea diadema prd (Re)

Homoptera
Dictyopharidae: Scolops sp. (Re)

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Foodplant / parasite
sporangium of Basidiophora entospora parasitises live Solidago rigida

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / parasite
Golovinomyces orontii parasitises live Solidago rigida

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Solidago rigida

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 12
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Status

Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status (e.g. threatened or endangered species, state noxious status, and wetland indicator values).

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Threats

Comments: Limited species distribution - None - Rare as prairie disjunction; Land-use conversion & fragmentation - None; Lack of disturbance, succession - None - Fire would enhance prairie habitats (Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project 2002).

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Management

Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)

Northern Iowa Germplasm stiff goldenrod is a composite from northern Iowa released by the Elsberry, MO Plant Materials Center in 1998.

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Reduce weed competition by mowing at a height that will not affect the goldenrod seedlings. For grassy weed control use Poast herbicide and follow label recommendations, as herbicide weed control will encourage a good stand. Note: This herbicide product may not be registered on this forb species in your state. NRCS does not endorse the use of any product. The staff was aware of only this one product at the time of publication. There may be others available. Refer to product label for specific application information.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Uses

Stiff goldenrod can be used for roadside plantings, wildlife food and habitat, and wildflower gardens because of its attractive bright yellow flowers, and as a small component of seeding mixtures for prairie restoration.

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Notes

Comments

Solidago rigida is divided into three subspecies with distinct morphologies and partially overlapping ranges. Intermediates occur between the subspecies in areas of sympatry.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Oligoneuron rigidum, as treated by Kartesz (1999), has usually been treated as Solidago rigidum (e.g., by Kartesz, 1994).

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