Solidago flexicaulis Linnaeus
The words or terms in red
(actually dark orange) in the text are defined in a
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
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.
Some of the vernacular names of
Solidago flexicaulis are:
Zigzag Goldenrod, Zigzag-stemmed Goldenrod and
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:
- Aster latifolius (L.) Kuntze
- Doria flexicaulis (L.) Lunell
- Solidago flexicaulis L. forma subincisa
Vict. & J. Rousseau
- Solidago flexicaulis L. var. ciliata DC.
- Solidago flexicaulis L. var. latifolia (L.) Pursh
- Solidago latifolia L.
- Solidago scrophulariifolia Mill.
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
and lanceolate; the leaves of
Solidago flexicaulis are oval, broad.
- the flower heads are in the leaf axils, a group of flower heads
emerges just above each leaf on the upper part of the stem.
- the cauline
are the broadest of the
genus genus and their
toothed leaf margins
are quite distinctive.
- the stems commonly have a zig-zag growth pattern, hence the
species epithet flexicaulis.
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
- Usually From 1 to 3 feet high and at times 4.
- Erect, smooth, usually in zigzag, hairy.
- Sometimes straight.
- Tapering to a rather long point at the tip, abruptly contracted to a
- The upper stem leaves much smaller,
as is often the case with Solidagos.
- Up to 6 inches long, up to 4 inches broad.
- With a pinnate venation.
- Many flower heads growing in small clusters
at the top of the stem,
sometimes forming a round clump at the top,
but usually spread along the upper part of the stem.
- Approximately 1/4 inch across, yellow.
consisting of 3 to 4
pistillate ray florets,
each one up to 1/8 inch long,
and 5 to 8 perfect disk florets.
- Both ray and disk florets fertile.
- With several round-tipped phyllaries.
- Blooming in September in my area, 25 km north of Montréal.
- Pollinated by bees and butterflies.
- Achenes about 1/10 inch long.
- With a short pappus.
In rich woods, maple stands, forest edges and clearings; along streams.
Solidago flexicaulis can be found in the
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.
- Fuji Mx 700.
- Minolta DiMAGE 7.
- Nikon 2200.
- EPSON Perfection 1650 (scanner).
The month, day and picture number might be followed by a letter:
and if there is no letter it's obviously the Minolta.
- f for the Fuji.
- n for the Nikon.
- s for the EPSON scanner.
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.
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.
Fructifications and fruits