Showy Goldenrod, Solidago speciosa

Showy Goldenrod is a herbaceous perennial that grows to 3 feet. As the common name suggests, this is one of the most showy goldenrods. It has upright stems that host foot-long rods of golden yellow flowers in the early fall.

Showy goldenrod tolerates drought and clay soil well and will naturalize in a landscape. It provides great contrast to a garden in the late summer to early fall. Removing spent flower clusters encourages more bloom. Goldenrods have been wrongfully accused of causing hay fever, which is actually an allergic reaction to wind-borne pollen from other plants such as ragweed.

This plant supports Wavy-lined Emerald (Synchlora aerata) larvae. Flowers are attractive to butterflies, bees, and other pollinators. Songbirds eat the seeds. Members of the genus Solidago support many specialized bees.

Photo by Dan Mullen CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Photo by K. Mulcahy

Sources:,, other authoritative resources and personal experience.