WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 

Short scratchy hairs cover the leaves and stems below the flowers of this erect, 2–6-foot tall plant. In late summer, hundreds of small, yellow flower heads bloom on the branching stems. Note the one-sided floral branches and leaves with 3 prominent veins. This robust plant spreads by rhizomes and can form thick colonies.


FLOWER: August–November. Arrays of flowers form dense plumes that may be spreading, curving, pyramid- or club-shaped. Each floral stem has flowers mostly along one side. The tiny flower head has 8–13 rays to 1/16-inch long (2 mm).


LEAVES: Basal leaves absent; alternate mid-stem leaves. Blades stalkless, hairy, lance-shaped, 1 3/4–4-inches long (4.5–10 cm), 1/4–5/8-inch wide (7–16 mm), with a few shallow teeth. Leaf blades have 3 strong nerves and are uniform in size up the stem. Large insect galls often occur on the upper leaves.


HABITAT: Sunny, moist soils of streambanks, fields, roadsides, open woods; desert scrub, pinyon, ponderosa-oak, Douglas fir forests.


ELEVATION: 3,300–8,750 feet.


RANGE: AZ, CO, NM, TX; widespread in all states east of Rocky Mountains.


SIMILAR SPECIES: More than 14 Solidago species in NM make field identification difficult. Another common, tall species, Giant Goldenrod, S. gigantea, scattered in the eastern half of NM, has hairless to sparsely hairy stems and 3-nerved leaves, the largest at mid stem. The widespread Three-nerve Goldenrod, S. velutina, also has a one-sided flower head and 3-nerved leaves, but the leaves get smaller upward and the stem has velvety, not short-hairy, stems.


NM COUNTIES: Scattered statewide in moist, low- to mid-elevation habitats: Bernalillo, Catron, Colfax, Dona Ana, Eddy, Grant, Guadalupe, Lincoln, McKinley, Otero, Rio Arriba, San Juan, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Sierra, Taos, Union.

TALL  GOLDENROD

SOLIDAGO  ALTISSIMA  (Solidago  canadensis  var.  scabra)

Aster Family, Asteraceae

Perennial herb

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Flower cluster  may be spreading, curving, pyramid- or club-shaped.

Flowers grow on one side of the floral stem.

Leaves are even-sized up the stem.

Plants spread by rhizomes and can form dense colonies in moist soils.

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