IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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This perennial wildflower consists of a semi-evergreen rosette of basal leaves from late fall to early spring, after which it develops a tuft of unbranched stems that have alternate leaves below and inflorescences above. During this latter period of active growth, Dune Goldenrod becomes ¾-2½' long with erect to ascending stems. The central stem of each plant is reddish green, terete, and rather narrow; there are usually fine hairs that are arranged in lines toward the apex, while toward the bottom the stem becomes glabrous. The lower cauline leaves are 3-6" long and ½-1" across; they are medium green, elliptic-oblanceolate in shape, hairless, and often sharply serrated along their margins. The upper cauline leaves are 1-3½" long and ¼-½" across (or sometimes less wide); they are medium green, narrowly elliptic in shape, hairless, and usually smooth along their margins. Both the lower and upper cauline leaves are ascending. The lower cauline leaves taper gradually to petiole-like bases, while the upper cauline leaves are sessile. The basal leaves are similar to the cauline leaves, except they are somewhat wider. The central stem terminates in a narrow panicle of flowerheads about 3-10" long and 1-2½" across. In each panicle, the flowerheads bloom from top to bottom. The panicle is sparingly branched; the branches and peduncles of the panicle are light green, narrowly terete, and often slightly pubescent and resinous. Small leafy bracts (up to 1" long & 1/8" across) occur along the branches of the panicle, including the central axis. The flowerheads have relatively long peduncles (¼-½ in length) that equal or exceed the length of individual flowerheads. Each flowerhead is about 1/6" (4-5 mm.) across and 1/4" (7 mm.) long, consisting of 7-10 yellow ray florets and slightly more disk florets that are golden yellow. Each disk floret consists of a narrow tubular corolla with 5 spreading lobes. Both ray and disk florets are fertile and capable of producing achenes. The base of each flowerhead has narrow floral bracts (phyllaries) in 2-3 overlapping series; they are light green or pale yellowish green, more or less oblong in shape, hairless, and slightly resinous. The blooming period occurs from mid-summer to early fall and lasts about 1-2 months. During the fall, the florets are replaced by small bullet-shaped achenes (2-3 mm. in length) with small tufts of hair; the achenes are sparsely to moderately hairy. They are distributed by the wind. The root system consists of a small caudex with fibrous roots and short rhizomes. Vegetative offsets are occasionally formed.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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