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Genus of the Week

Week of Feb. 2-8

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This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of all available Web resources on a particular genus.

This week's genus:

Solidago: The Goldenrods

Subclass: Dicotyledoneae
Superorder: Asteridae
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae (Compositae); The Sunflower Family
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Astereae
Number of Species: greater than 75

Latin Root: "solidus" = whole

The genus Solidago is represented by several species in New England, including Solidago rugosa (Rough- stemmed Goldenrod) and Solidago sempervirens (Seaside Goldenrod). Characteristics of this herbaceous genus include elongated flower stalks with yellow flowers (Excepting Solidago bicolor, which has white flowers and is appropriately named Silverrod) and often a basal rosette of leaves distinctly longer than those on the upper stem. Goldenrods flower from late summer into the fall, making a beautiful display along roadsides and in fields and forests long after other plants have gone to seed .

Here are a few links to images and descriptions of different Solidago species:


  1. Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
  2. Neiring, William A. and Nancy C. Olmstead., eds. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region. Alfred A. Knopf, New York: 1979.

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