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Manitoba Museum

Aster (Asteraceae)

Showy Goldenrod

Solidago nemoralis Ait.

Showy Goldenrod is abundant and widespread on the Canadian prairies. It is an important plant because it provides nectar and pollen to a wide range of insects. This species is common on dry, sandy soils. Contrary to popular belief, Goldenrod does not cause hay fever because its pollen is not wind dispersed.

Flower Colour:

  • Yellow

Flowering Season:

  • Summer
  • Fall

Flowering Months:

  • August
  • July
  • September

Canadian Rarity Status:

Not rare. Listed as “sensitive” in British Columbia.

Physical Appearance:

Showy goldenrod is a perennial covered with short, white hairs. It has alternate, lance-shaped, smooth or finely toothed leaves. Each plant has long clusters of flower heads. Individual flower heads are less than 1 cm wide. The outer ray flowers have short, strap-shaped petals and the inner disc flowers are smaller and tube-shaped. The fruits have a tuft of hairs to help them get blown away by the wind.

Similar Species:

Canada Goldenrod, Low Goldenrod (Solidago missouriensis Nutt.), Riddell's Goldenrod, Velvety Goldenrod (Solidago mollis Bartl.)

Gardening Notes:

Seeds and/or plants are typically available from greenhouses and seed supply companies specializing in native plants.

Canadian Distribution:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan

Prairie Types:

  • Fescue Prairie
  • Mixed Grass Prairie
  • Tall Grass Prairie


  • Prairies

Moisture Conditions:

  • Dry

Light Preference:

  • Full Sun
  • Part Shade

Soil Preference:

  • Clay
  • Gravel
  • Sand
Showy Goldenrod