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Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

Host Plant: Wavy-lined Emerald (Synchlora aerata)

Nectar Plant: Monarchs, and other butterflies and insects

Flower Color: yellow

Growth Habit: herbaceous perennial that grows from 2 to 6 feet tall

Range in North America: Northern mid-western and northeastern United States and Eastern Canada

Exposure: Full sun

Hardiness: Zones 3-9

Soil Requirements: moist to mesic soil


Canadian Goldenrod, Common Goldenrod, Goldenrod, Meadow Goldenrod, and Tall Goldenrod


Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), a member of the Asteraceae (Aster Family), is a herbaceous perennial that grows 2 to 6 feet tall and has yellow flowers that bloom in the summer and fall from August to October. The alternate, simple leaves are lanceolate to linear in shape and have serrate margins. This plant grows in zones 3-9 and likes open areas with full sun. This plant spreads by rhizomes and can be weedy in some locations.

More information about this species can be found in this blog post.


Canada goldenrod has two varieties, the typic – var. canadensis and var. hargeri.

Host Species

Wavy-lined Emerald (Synchlora aerata)

Wavy-lined Emerald (Synchlora aerolata) on fabric.

CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Many butterflies, bees, flies, ants, and beetles use this plant as a nectar source. Birds, such as the Eastern Goldfinch, eat the seeds, and some mammals eat the stems and leaves. Goldenrods in general are one of the most important nectar plants in the fall.

Range of Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis) in the United States and Canada

Range map of Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis var. canadensis) in the United States and Canada.


Canada Goldenrod is found in open areas such as fields, meadows, roadsides, and disturbed places with moist to mesic soil.

The genus name, Solidago, comes from the Latin for Solidus and ago and refers to the medicinal healing properties. The species name, canadensis, is Latin for part of the area where it is found.


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