Ontario Wildflowers website

Late Goldenrod
Solidago gigantea

Other common names: Giant Goldenrod, Smooth Goldenrod, Tall Goldenrod

Other scientific names: Solidago pitcheri, Solidago serotina, Solidago shinnersii

French names: Verge d'or géante

Family: Composite Family (Asteraceae)

Group: Goldenrods

Distinctive features: Smooth stem all the way up, is glaucous (has a whitish bloom). Very tall. Flowers early, not "late".

Similar species:
  •   Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis) - stem fuzzy; flowers smaller.

  •   Tall Goldenrod (Solidago altissima) - stem fuzzy; flowers about the same size; has galls.

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


Flowers: Summer;  Yellow;  Indistinguishable parts (petals);  In spite of its name, this species does not flower "late". In fact, it flowers right on the heels of Early Goldenrod (Solidago juncea), which is the first species of Goldenrod to flower in the season.

Height: Up to 2 m (6 ft)

Stem: Smooth all the way up. Glaucous (has a whitish bloom that can be easily rubbed off).

Habitat: Fields and Open Areas;  Open areas, fields.

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: Common.

Notes: This species is sometimes called "Tall Goldenrod" - in fact it is referred to this way in The Goldenrods of Ontario.

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


Photographs: 152 photographs available, of which 12 are featured on this page. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Range Map is at the bottom of the page

Late Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

The main distinguishing feature of this species is the glaucous stem ("glaucous" means that it has a whitish bloom that is easily rubbed off).

Late Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

Flowers, at the beginning of August.

Late Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

The overall plant. It has the classic Goldenrod shape with the spreading flowering branches at the top of the plant.

Late Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

Another one. Sometimes the flowering branches are a bit more compact.

Late Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

And another.

Late Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

A nice patch of Late Goldenrod in the third week of August.

Late Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

Closeup of the flowers.

Late Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

Flowers are done and seeds are starting to form. This photo was taken in late September.

Late Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

Late Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

Upper surface of a leaf.

Late Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

Underside of a leaf.

Late Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

Seed head (early October). The fluffy seeds disperse readily on the wind.


Range map for Late Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

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)