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(Solidago speciosa)
Showy Goldenrod

Host Plant: Goldenrod Gall Moth (Epiblema scudderiana) and Goldenrod Flower Moth (Schinia nundina)

Nectar Plant: Monarchs, and other butterflies and insects

Flower Color: yellow

Growth Habit: herbaceous perennial that grows from 3 to 5 feet tall

Range in North America: Midwest United States and east, except for Florida and Delaware

Exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Hardiness: Zones 3-8

Soil Requirements: well-drained soil that is mesic to dry

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Showy Goldenrod (Solidago speciosa)

Grouping of showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa) in a field.
Yellow Flowers of Showy Goldenrod — “Solidago speciosa” by evan8 is marked with CC0 1.0.

Description of Showy Goldenrod (Solidago speciosa)

Showy Goldenrod (Solidago speciosa), a member of the Asteraceae (Aster Family), is a herbaceous perennial that grows 3 to 5 feet tall and has yellow flowers that bloom in the summer and fall. This plant grows in zones 3-8 and likes open areas with full sun or partial shade.  More information about this species can be found on this blog post.

Alternative Names

Showy Goldenrod, Noble Goldenrod, Prairie Goldenrod, Showy-Wand Goldenrod, and Plainweed

Hosted Species

Goldenrod Gall Moth (Epiblema scudderiana), Goldenrod Flower Moth (Schinia nundina), and Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).

Goldenrod Flower Moth on fabric – Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren, CC BY 2.0, 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 Showy Goldenrod (Solidago speciosa) in the United States and Canada

Range map of Showy Goldenrod (Solidago speciosa) in the United States and Canada.

Showy Goldenrod is found in open areas such as savannas, fields, prairies, and roadsides that have a medium to dry moisture.

Origin of the Name

The species names, speciosa, means showy.


Growit Buildit

NC State Extension Service

Missouri Botanical Garden

Native Location

Ontario, Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone

Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8


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Showy Goldenrod”

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