WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 

Stems mostly hairless below with tiny, soft hairs covering the upper stems and leaves, this 19–32-inch tall goldenrod spreads by rhizomes and forms dense colonies. Note the presence of basal leaves, and the 3-nerved leaves that get smaller up the stem.


FLOWER: August–October. Narrow to broad or pyramidal to one-sided arrays with 30–500 tiny yellow flower heads crowd showy, wand-like stems. Each flower head has 6–12 petal-like ray flowers 1/8–1/4-inch long (3–6 mm).


LEAVES: Basal leaves often present when blooming with linear-elliptic blades, 2–4 3/4-inches long (5–12 cm). Alternate stem leaves get smaller upward; blades 3/8–2-inches long (8–50 mm), usually with 3 strong nerves from base to tip; surfaces sparsely to densely hairy, margins entire or with a few teeth the blade tapers toward the base and tip.


HABITAT: Sandy, gravelly, limestone soils, open areas, roadsides; pinyon-juniper-oak, ponderosa-Douglas fir, aspen forests.


ELEVATION: 5,000–10,500 feet.


RANGE: AZ, CA, CO, ID, NV, NM, TX, UT, WY.


SIMILAR SPECIES: 14 closely-related Solidago species in NM can make field identification difficult. The 2-foot Prairie Goldenrod, S. nemoralis, has basal leaves present, and stem leaves with one nerve. Wright’s Goldenrod, S. wrightii, statewide at mid to high elevations, is 7–43-inches tall with flowers on all sides of the floral branches, basal leaves absent at flowering, and stem leaves that have one prominent nerve and get smaller up the stem. Tall Goldenrod, S. altissima, scattered statewide, has scratchy, hairy stems and leaves, and 3-nerved leaves uniform in size up the stem. Giant Goldenrod, S. gigantea, scattered statewide, has has hairless to sparsely hairy stems and 3-nerved leaves, the largest at mid stem.


NM COUNTIES: Statewide at mid- to high-elevation habitats (absent on se plains): Bernalillo, Catron, Cibola, Colfax, Dona Ana, Eddy, Grant, Guadalupe, Harding, Hidalgo, Lincoln, Los Alamos, Luna, McKinley, Mora, Otero, Quay, Rio Arriba, San Juan, San Miguel, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Sierra, Socorro, Taos, Torrance, Union, Valencia.

THREE-NERVED  GOLDENROD

SOLIDAGO  VELUTINA

Aster Family, Asteraceae

Perennial herb

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Flower arrays can be narrow to broad or pyramidal to one-sided.

Stem leaves have three nerves running from base to tip, and get smaller up the stem.

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