Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Showy Goldenrod
Solidago speciosa

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Solidago (so-li-DAY-go) (Info)
Species: speciosa (spee-see-OH-suh) (Info)

7 vendors have this plant for sale.

One member has or wants this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Flowers are good for cutting
Flowers are good for drying and preserving

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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to view:

By htop
Thumbnail #1 of Solidago speciosa by htop

By WaterCan2
Thumbnail #2 of Solidago speciosa by WaterCan2

By WaterCan2
Thumbnail #3 of Solidago speciosa by WaterCan2

By LilyLover_UT
Thumbnail #4 of Solidago speciosa by LilyLover_UT


2 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive dkm65 On Jul 23, 2007, dkm65 from Cedar Falls, IA (Zone 4b) wrote:

One of the most attractive solidagos IMHO, with it tall, full columnar or pyramidal flower spikes. More flower to foliage ratio than most other solidago, and looks appropriate in a garden as well as large wild settings. The listings claim it grows 1-3 feet, but we've gotten some 4-5 footers even before flowering, and one major prairie native plant nursery also lists the height at 5 feet. Looks great with tall, blue native asters like sky blue aster (A. azureus/A. oolentangiense/Symphiotrichum oolentangiense) & smooth aster (A. laevis/S. laeve), which bloom during the same period.

Drought tolerant, and attracts pollinators (bees, beetles, & some butterflies & moths) in droves. Seeds are sometimes eaten by American goldfinches & greater prairie chickens, although it's not their preferred seed source. Grows easily from seed, needing no pre-treatment. Just fall so outside or sow inside or outside in the spring.

If you like this species, check out the blue-stemmed goldenrod (Solidago caesia) for shadier spots. Its flower heads look like fireworks or shooting stars.

Positive solidago_caesia On Oct 24, 2006, solidago_caesia from Pittsburgh, PA wrote:

This plant has thrived under fairly challenging circumstances. I planted it in the most impoverished clay soil, though certainly well drained. Further, I permitted a bean plant to vine over it. (I get a kick out of permitting beans and tomatoes to act as weeds in my otherwise native American yard, because it makes my whining about the weeds more amusing.) I think I would advise against putting it in soil that it would like, but it's quite quite delightful in well drained clay which puts a damper on the goldenrod tendency to spread.

Neutral htop On Aug 10, 2005, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant. Showy goldenrod is a deer resistant, native rhizomatous plant that inhabits almost all of North America. Preferring sandy to loamy soil, it can grow in poor dry soils as well as medium wet soils as long as the soil is well drained. It can be found in fields, open woods, meadows, prairies, along roadsides and in thickets reaching a height of between 2 and 3 feet and between 2 and 3 feet wide. Thriving best in full sun, it can tolerate very light shade.

The lance-shaped, toothed, hairy leaves densely alternate along upright reddish colored stalks from ground level to club-shaped, terminal, clustered flower heads which occur from late July through October. The thick, branching heads have tiny bright yellow flowers. To prolong blooming, remove the spent flower clusters. Showy goldenrod may need to be divided every 2 to 3 years to control its growth. Although it has been accused of being an allergen, goldenrod does not cause hay fever. It attracts bees and butterflies and seems to have no serious insect or disease problems except for leaf rust which may occasionally occur. Showy goldenrod provides late summer and fall color and is an excellent choice for naturalized areas (wildscapaes), xeriscapes, rock gardens and perennial beds.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Cedar Falls, Iowa
Selden, New York
Bowling Green, Ohio
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Leesburg, Virginia

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