Genus of the Week
Week of Feb. 2-8
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
Family: Asteraceae (Compositae); The Sunflower Family
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:
- The Plant Image Database at Texas A&M University has three great pictures of Solidago (species unknown):
a whole plant,
just the flower heads,
with a pollinator.
- Texas A&M University also has a large list of Solidago species, including subspecies and varieties. Be prepared to scroll down.
- A look at Solidago canadensis (Canada Goldenrod) from the University of Washington Medicinal Herb Garden.
- Information about Solidago missouriensis (Prairie Goldenrod) from the Northern Prairie Science Center.
- For those of you interested in genetics, here is a link to an abstract concerning the division of Solidago rigida (Stiff Goldenrod) into subspecies.
- Attention Conservation Biologists: Solidago spithamaea (Blue Ridge Goldenrod) has been listed by the U.S. Fisheries and Wildlife Service as a federally threatened species. Populations are currently found only in Tennessee and North Carolina.
- Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
- 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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