Ontario Wildflowers website

Canada Goldenrod
Solidago canadensis

Other common names: Rock Goldenrod

Other scientific names: Solidago elongata, Solidago rupestris

French names: Verge d'or du Canada

Family: Composite Family (Asteraceae)

Group: Goldenrods

Similar species:
  •   Early Goldenrod (Solidago juncea) - blooms earlier; has many basal leaves.

  •   Late Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea) - very similar - stems smooth & glaucous.

  •   Tall Goldenrod (Solidago altissima) - very similar - flowers larger; has galls.


Flowers: Summer, Autumn;  Yellow;  Indistinguishable parts (petals);  In a plume. Later in the season.

Height: Up to 2 m (5 ft)

Habitat: Fields and Open Areas;  Fields, open dry areas.

Books: Newcomb's Wildflower Guide: 448    Peterson's Field Guide to Wildflowers: 190    ROM Field Guide to Wildflowers of Ontario: 184   

Native/Non-native: Native

Status: very common.

Notes: You're not likely to learn how to differentiate Canada Goldenrod from the similar species listed here based solely on the photos and info on this page. You will need to get out into the field and compare it to the others.

Origin and Meaning of Names:
 Scientific Name: canadensis: of Canada


See Also:
  •   Goldenrod & Ragweed, from The Monday Garden, by Sue Sweeney
  •   Goldenrod, Ragweed and Mugwort, from The Monday Garden, by Sue Sweeney


Photographs: 86 photographs available, of which 14 are featured on this page. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Range Map is at the bottom of the page

Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

Canada Goldenrod is one of the most common Goldenrod species in Ontario. Yet in spite of this, it is probably the most difficult to identify with certainty! Here is its classic shape. Note the dense flowers. Mid September.

Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

A more compact specimen.

Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

Close-up view of the flowers.

Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

Am even closer view.

Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

And again...

Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

Here is a small stand of Canada Goldenrod. Note the classic shape.

Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

And a field of mostly Canada Goldenrod.

If you come across a large field of goldenrod like this, you probably won't be far off to say it's a field of Canada Goldenrod.

Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

Canada Goldenrod has very numerous leaves all up its stem. This photo shows the upper stem and leaves, where the flower stems branch off.

Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

And here is the middle part of the stem - leaves still very numerous.

Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

Leaves may be toothed ...

Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

...or have entire (untoothed) edges.

Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

One of the key identifying characteristics of Canada Goldenrod is that the flowers are fairly small. Although the flowers in this photo have finished blooming, it still gives an idea of how small they are. Centimetres and millimetres are on the bottom of the ruler; inches (and tenths of inches) are across the top of the ruler.

Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

Seeds in October.


Range map for Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

PLEASE NOTE: A coloured Province or State means this species occurs somewhere in that Province/State.
The entire Province/State is coloured, regardless of where in that Province/State it occurs.

(Range map provided courtesy of the USDA website and is displayed here in accordance with their Policies)