Solidago flexicaulis Linnaeus

Remark The words or terms in red (actually dark orange) in the text are defined in a glossary.

sep_12_03c.gthmb can't be loaded. Solidago flexicaulis is a perennial herb with short rhizomes; it is a native plant of North America. It grows in shaded woods and tends to grow in small stands. Most of the flower heads grow near the top of the main stem. They sometimes form a round clump at the top, but usually they are spread along the upper part of the stem.

One of the commonest common name of Solidago flexicaulis is Zigzag Goldenrod because the stem is usually crooked, zigzagging from leaf to leaf. However, the stem is sometimes virtually straight.

The plant Asteraceae family.


The genus name is said to be first from the Latin adjective solidus that means dense, solid, massive, compact, substantial, and, in a figurative sense, firm, and from the Latin verb agere of first person singular present indicative ago that means something like to do and to make, so that Solidago would refer to the plant's supposed ability to heal. An other but somewhat similar origin would be the latin verb solidare that means to reinforce, to consolidate, and this would refer to the Solidagos as above.

In Latin, flexus means bending, curve. In Greek, καυλοσ (kaulos) means stem; and in Latin caulis has the same meaning. So the epithet refers to the bends along the stem shaft. sep_12_01a.gthmb can't be loaded.

Common names

Some of the vernacular names of Solidago flexicaulis are: Zigzag Goldenrod, Zigzag-stemmed Goldenrod and Broad-leaved Goldenrod

Some of the French vernacular names are: Verge d'or à tige zigzaguante and Verge d'or zigzag.


Solidago flexicaulis has also been known as:


Solidago flexicaulis is one of the easiest of the Solidago species to identify in the field. The distinguishing feature of Solidago flexicaulis are: Solidago caesia (Bluestem Goldenrod also has flower heads in the leaf axils and shares the same habitat, but its overall appearance make it unlikely to be confused with Solidago flexicaulis; its leaves are elongate and lanceolate; the leaves of Solidago flexicaulis are oval, broad. sep_12_02c.gthmb can't be loaded.


Notable for its brilliant yellow flower heads, this shade-loving Solidago also sports attractive, finely-serrated oval leaves. Named for the way the flower heads zig and zag their way up the stem, it grows two to four feet tall on dry to medium woodland soils with a good humus content.



Flower heads



In rich woods, maple stands, forest edges and clearings; along streams.


Solidago flexicaulis can be found in the map_na.jpg can't be loaded. eastern half of the USA extending west to North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas and Mississippi, but it is not found in Florida or Alabama. In Canada is it found from Ontario to Nova-Scotia. The map, from Flora of North America, shows the US States and Canadian Provinces where Solidago flexicaulis can be found.


At one time, the leaves of this plant were chewed, or the root was mixed with water and gargled or dried and chewed to relieve sore throats.


The photos of the gallery were taken either with one of the following: The title in the window shows the date when the picture was taken, i.e. jan_30_06... would mean that the photo was taken on the 30th of January, the 06 is for the 6th picture taken that day.

The month, day and picture number might be followed by a letter:

and if there is no letter it's obviously the Minolta.

Click on the thumbnails to get larger view. The original photos are usually in TIFF format, the photos shown are generally in JPEG format, usually of dimension one half (surface one quarter) for loading time reduction.

Plants, stems

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The picture is a scan at 300 dpi, with the dimensions then reduce by 1/2 (area reduced by 1/4). This allows to measure the dimension of the leaves and teeth.

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Flower heads

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Fructifications and fruits

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