Solidago rugosa, Rough-Stemmed Goldenrod

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Golden sprays of flowers brighten the garden from late summer to frost, supporting 115 species of moths, butterflies, native bees, and other insect pollinators.  The cultivar ‘Fireworks’ is more compact, easier to contain, and flowers more vigorously than the species.

In the Sunny Garden and at Simpson Gardens you will find the two best herbaceous plants for attracting butterflies and moths–goldenrod and aster–planted side by side. Two native species of goldenrod in this video feature a variety of pollinating insects. Predators that feed on flower nectar include solitary digger wasps, one that preys on bees and the other primarily on adult beetles as well as the invasive but arguably beneficial European paper wasp, which preys on caterpillars and other garden pests. Also present is the brilliantly colored, native locust borer. Although a serious pest of the black locust tree, it provides important cross-pollination services as it satisfies its appetite for pollen.
Video © 2017 Mary Free 

Learn about Pollinators


Print Version: Solidago rugosa, Rough-Stemmed GoldenrodSolidago rugosa, Rough-Stemmed Goldenrod Perennial Bloom from August to November Height: 1–61⁄2 feet (‘Fireworks’ 21⁄2–3 feet) Spread: 11⁄2–21⁄2 feet (‘Fireworks’ 21⁄2–3 feet) Bloom Color: Yellow Characteristics Clumping perennial w/ sturdy, erect, hairy stems Narrow, toothed, “wrinkled” leaves Tiny ray and disk flowerheads at the ends (and usually on the upper side) of arching stems Spreads by rhizome; can be aggressive Attributes Tolerates clay soil, wet soil, and light shade No serious pests or diseases; deer seldom severely damage Especially gorgeous when paired with native purple or blue fall asters; good cut flower Ethnobotanic uses; goldenrod pollen does NOT cause hay fever; ragweed pollen does Attracts a wide variety of beneficial insects and some birds; larval host to numerous moth speciesGrowing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Slightly acidic loam or sand Light Requirements: Sun, Partial ShadeWater Requirements: Moist, WetRemove spent flowers to encourage more bloomsUse in mixed borders or in butterfly, cutting, meadow or rain gardens or at fresh water’s edge *Numerous beneficial insects and late season pollinators, like pictured common buckeye butterfly, frequent flowers of Solidago species. Hardiness: USDA Zones 4–8  Excellent Replacement for Coronilla varia - Crown Vetch

Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets