Ontario Wildflowers website

Solidago bicolor

Other common names: Silver-rod, White Goldenrod

Family: Composite Family (Asteraceae)

Group: Goldenrods

Distinctive features: A white- or cream-flowered goldenrod. Flowers in clusters along the stem. Large basal leaves present when flowering.

Similar species:
  •   Blue-stemmed Goldenrod (Solidago caesia) - stem blue, flowers very yellow and smaller.

  •   Hairy Goldenrod (Solidago hispida) - stem very hairy, flowers yellow.

Flowers: Summer, Autumn;  White;  Indistinguishable parts (petals);  White or cream-coloured. Late summer or fall.

Leaves: Upper stem leaves very small, lower ones larger.

Height: Up to 1 m (1-3 ft)

Habitat: Forests, Fields and Open Areas;  Open fields, open forests.

Lifespan: Perennial.  

Books: Newcomb's Wildflower Guide: 382    Peterson's Field Guide to Wildflowers: 58   

Native/Non-native: Native

Status: Uncommon in Ontario, mainly found east of Lake Superior. Also found in scattered other sites here and there.

Origin and Meaning of Names:
 Scientific Name: bicolor: two-coloured

Photographs: 178 photographs available, of which 13 are featured on this page. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Range Map is at the bottom of the page

Silverrod (Solidago bicolor)

There may be one main stem, unbranched.

Silverrod is the only white-flowered goldenrod (aside from Upland White Aster (Solidago ptarmicoides), which looks like an Aster, but technically is a goldenrod!).

It's uncommon in Ontario, but there's lots of it in Eastern Canada (New Brunswick and Nova Scotia). The photos on this page are a mixture of Ontario and Nova Scotia specimens.

Silverrod (Solidago bicolor)

Or the main stem may branch part way up. Note that the arrangement of the flowers along the stem is vaguely similar to that of Blue-stemmed Goldenrod (Solidago caesia) - both species have small clusters of flowers along their main stem.

Silverrod (Solidago bicolor)

Sometimes Silverrod flowers have more yellow in them.

Silverrod (Solidago bicolor)

Closer view of the flowers.

Silverrod (Solidago bicolor)

Extreme close-up view of the flowers.

Silverrod (Solidago bicolor)

Often the flowers are rather scattered up the upper part of the stem.

Silverrod (Solidago bicolor)

Sometimes they are more closely packed.

Most of the flowers in this photo are still flower buds (end of August).

Silverrod (Solidago bicolor)

This shows the upper stem leaves - note how small they are.

Silverrod (Solidago bicolor)

The upper stem leaves are small.

Silverrod (Solidago bicolor)

Lower stem leaves are larger.

Silverrod (Solidago bicolor)

A lower stem leaf.

Silverrod (Solidago bicolor)

Basal leaves - they're large and usually still present at time of flowering.

Silverrod (Solidago bicolor)

Hairy stem, but not as hairy as Hairy Goldenrod (Solidago hispida).

Range map for Silverrod (Solidago bicolor)

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)