SHOWY GOLDENROD
File Size: 156 KB
 
Solidago speciosa  Nutt.
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 1-5 feet
Family: Asteraceae - Sunflower family
Flowering Period:   August, September,October
Also Called: Showy-wand goldenrod, noble goldenrod.
Stems: Erect or ascending, 1 to several, stout, reddish, fine longitudinal ridges, smooth below, often minutely hairy above.
Leaves: Alternate, simple, numerous, firm; surfaces nearly glabrous, lower surface with 1 prominent vein; tip bluntly to sharply pointed; basal and lower leaves short-stalked, lanceolate to ovate-elliptic, 2 to 12 inches long, .5 to 3 inches wide; margins toothed or entire; lowermost leaves often absent at flowering; mid- to upper stem leaves narrowly ovate to lanceolate or elliptic, 1 to 3.6 inches long, .2 to 1.2 inch wide, progressively reduced upward, becoming sessile.
Inflorescences: Panicle-like, erect, dense, narrow, elongate, 2 to 18 inches long, 1 to 4 inches broad, club-shaped or pyramidal column, terminal; branches often numerous, ascending, crowded or sometimes loose and open; heads 15-300+, on conspicuous stalks, oriented in multiple directions.
Flowers: Involucre narrowly bell-shaped, 1/8 to 1/4 inch tall; bracts unequal, mostly oblong, keeled, yellowish, over-lapping in 3-4 series; tips bluntly pointed to rounded; ray florets 3-9, 1/6 to 1/5 inch long, yellow; disk florets 6-11, 1/12 to 1/6 inch long, corollas yellow.
Fruits: Achene, narrowly egg-shaped, 1/25 to 1/12 inch long, glabrous, tipped with numerous white bristles to 1/8 inch long, enclosing small seed.
Habitat: Open woods, prairies, fields, roadsides; dry, sandy or rocky soils.
Distribution: East 1/2 of Kansas.
Origin: Native
Uses: Native Americans used an infusion of the roots to treat burns, difficult childbirths and lung hemorrhages. The roots and stalks were mixed with bear fat and utilized as a hair ointment. The roots and stalks were boiled to make a warm poultice that was applied to sore muscles and sprains.
Comments: Showy goldenrod can become aggressive in moist soil conditions. From Latin solido, "to heal" or "make whole", alluding to the plant's medicinal qualities.

Showy goldenrod inflorescence
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Showy goldenrod
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Showy goldenrod florets
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Showy goldenrod inflorescence
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Showy goldenrod
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Showy goldenrod stem
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Showy goldenrod leaf
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Showy goldenrod leaves
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Showy goldenrod
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McPherson County, Kansas