Solidago nemoralis Aiton
The words or terms in red
(actually dark orange) in the text are defined in a
Solidago nemoralis is a short, slender, erect
usually measuring from 0.3 to 0.5 m, found in clumps.
is a cluster of yellow flowers heads all essentially
growing on one side of the stalk.
This creates a kind of a vase-shaped flower cluster.
It is one of the smallest goldenrods, which blooms later than most.
Solidago nemoralis was first described for science by
William Aiton (1731-1793), an eminent English botanist and Royal Gardener
at Kew, site of the world's largest plant collection.
Botanists usually recognize two
subspecies of Solidago nemoralis:
The plant belongs to the
- Solidago nemoralis subsp. nemoralis Aiton, the
only subspecies found in Québec.
- Solidago nemoralis subsp. decemflora (DC.) Brammall
ex Semple, that is found in Ontario, etc.
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, nemoralis means from the woods, from the forest;
so that Solidago nemoralis means a Solidago that grows
in the forest, although I have never this plant in forests
but in fields or clearings or woods openings, but never under trees.
Some of the vernacular names of
Solidago nemoralis are:
Gray Goldenrod, Old-Field Goldenrod, Wood Goldenrod, One-sided Goldenrod.
Dyer's-weed Goldenrod, Dyersweed Goldenrod
and Dwarf Goldenrod.
The French name is Verge d'or des bois.
Solidago nemoralis has also been known as:
- Solidago nemoralis Aiton forma pallens Benke
- Solidago nemoralis Aiton subsp. haleana
(Fernald) G. W. Douglas
- Solidago nemoralis Aiton var. arenicola Burgess
- Solidago nemoralis Aiton var. elongata Peck
- Solidago nemoralis Aiton var. haleana Fernald
Solidago nemoralis can be identified by:
- The pubescence and grayish color of
- The crenate-serrate margins
of the basal leaves.
- The tiny leaf-like fascicles
the leaf axils,
quite characteristic of this species.
- The single, slender, one-sided plume of rich yellow blossoms.
The root system consists of a branching
(particularly on older plants) and rhizomes.
- Grey or reddish, arching a bit.
- Arising singly or in groups.
- Densely covered with fine hairs, often in lines.
- Measuring from 1 to 2 feet.
- Unbranched below the flower heads.
- With winged leaflets
at the axils of the upper leaves.
- Alternate, simple.
- Basal leaves are long, linear to
tapered at base, with serrations
on the distal half.
- Stalk leaves are oval and tapered at both ends.
- Upper leaves become progressively smaller upward and may be only
a half inch long near the flowering spikes.
- All leaves have distinct midrib
and web-like venation.
- The teeth of the margins bluntly rounded.
- There are also tiny leaflets in the axis between the leaf and the stem.
- In a cluster, a panicle head,
4 to 10 inches long, with a tendency to nod.
- The cluster is usually turned southward, to expose the largest surface
to the midday sun.
- All flower heads.
- About a quarter inch wide.
- With 3 to 6 small tubular
disk florets that are
perfect and fertile.
- With fertile pistillate ray florets
having from 5 to 9 yellow rays.
- Blooming from the end of August to September in my area,
25 km north of Montréal.
- At times with a slight fragrance.
by bees, flies & beetles that collect
feed on it or suck nectar.
- Achenes oblong,
about 1/16 inch (1.5 mm) long.
- With a pappus of white
Solidago nemoralis is common in dry, sandy or rocky areas.
It occurs in meadows, gravel prairies, sand prairies, savannas,
worn-out fields and dunes.
It tolerates very poor, dry, sterile soils.
Solidago nemoralis grows in all Canadian provinces and
in all the USA States that are east of
New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Minnesota, these four States included.
Solidago nemoralis subsp. nemoralis is found in the eastern half
of North America while Solidago nemoralis subsp. decemflora in
found more to the west, roughly west of the Mississipi river, up to the
Rocky Mountains, and in Canada, from Ontario to Brithish Columbia.
The map, form Flora Of North America shows the US States and
Canadian provinces where Solidago nemoralis subsp. nemoralis
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.
Flowers heads, fructification, seeds