Silver-rod, Solidago bicolor

Solidago bicolor also called White Goldenrod, is a herbaceous perennial wildlflower in the Asteraceae family. It flowers from late summer into the fall and displays an elongated spike of short-stalked flower heads with white to yellowish-white rays surrounding a yellow central disk atop a hairy, grayish stem. This is the only species of Solidago with white rays found on the east coast.

Silver Goldenrod grows well in dry, often poor, soil, in full sun to partial shade, and seems to prefer soil with a heavy clay content. It tolerates drought. Goldenrod species are sometimes blamed for hay fever, but the irritating pollen is actually a product of ragweed (Ambrosia species), whose pollen is airborn when goldenrod is in flower. This plant is deer resistant.

This plant supports Wavy-lined Emerald (Synchlora aerata) larvae. The White Goldenrod flowers produce nectar that attracts butterflies, native bees, honey bees and other pollinators. Songbirds eat the seeds. Members of this Solidago genus support many specialized bees.

Photo by Fritz Flohr Reynolds CC-BY-SA 2.0

Sources:,, other authoritative resources and personal experience.