Harger’s goldenrod

(Solidago canadensis var. hargeri)

Conservation Status


No image available

  IUCN Red List

not listed


N4N5 - Apparently Secure to Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland


FACU - Facultative upland

  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland


Canada goldenrod (var.hargeri) is a 12 to 78 tall, though usually no more than 60 tall, erect to ascending, perennial forb that rises on 1 to 20 or more stems from long, creeping rhizomes. It often forms large, dense patches. The roots and leaves exude toxic chemicals that inhibit the growth and survival of competing species (allelopathy).

The stem is erect or ascending, finely grooved, and leafy. It is not shiny and not covered with a whitish, waxy bloom (glaucous). It is moderately hairy both above and below the middle, though it may be hairless or nearly hairless near the base.

There are no basal leaves. Stem leaves are alternate, narrowly lance-shaped, and thin. Lower to middle stem leaves are 2 to 7½ long and 3 16 to 13 16 wide. The leaf blade is distinctly 3-veined. It tapers to the base and is attached to the stem without a leaf stalk. It tapers to a point at the tip with concave sides along the tip. The upper surface is hairless or slightly rough due to the presence of short, stiff hairs. The lower surface is sometimes hairless but usually has hairs along the midrib and main veins. The margins are toothed with sharp, forward-pointing teeth. Lower to middle stem leaves are usually withered by the time the plant is in flower. Middle to upper stem leaves are similar, 13 16 to 4¾ long, and 5 16 to ½ wide, largest near the middle, becoming gradually smaller as they ascend the stem. The margins are toothed, minutely toothed, or sometimes untoothed just below the inflorescence.

The inflorescence is a pyramidal, open, many-branched, spreading cluster up to 10 across with 150 to 1300 flower heads. The flowering branches are long, hairy and strongly bent backward. The flower heads are arranged on one side of the branch.

The tiny flower heads are less than ¼ wide. They have 5 to 13 yellow ray florets, usually 10 or fewer and averaging 9. They have usually 2 to 4, occasionally 5, yellow disk florets. The whorl of bracts surrounding the base of the flower head (involucre) is 1 16 to long and yellowish in color. The corolla is 1 16 to long.




12 to 78


Flower Color


Yellow ray florets, yellow disk florets


Similar Species


Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis var. canadensis) stems are hairless or sparsely hairy from the middle to the base. The flower heads tend to have more ray florets, 7 to 15, and more disk florets, 3 to 6. It is found throughout the state.

Early goldenrod (Solidago juncea) stems are hairless.

Giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea) stems are hairless and sometimes covered with a whitish, waxy bloom.

Tall goldenrod (Solidago canadensis var. scabra) often has large insect galls on the lower and middle part of the stem. Fresh plants often have a gray-green tone from the short hairs on the leaf surfaces. The plant is usually hairy throughout. The leaves are relatively thick and firm. The involucre is longer, to 3 16 long.


Moist to dry. Prairies, fields, ditches, roadsides, and forest openings. Full to partial sun.




August to October


Pests and Diseases




Defense Mechanisms


Canada goldenrod produces chemicals that help it compete against nearby plants (allelopathy). The roots and leaves exude toxic chemicals that inhibit the growth and survival of competing plants. The effect has been documented repeatedly in the lab but is less evident in the field.




Distribution Map



3, 4, 29, 30.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  


Asterales (sunflowers, bellflowers, fanflowers, and allies)  


Asteraceae (sunflowers, daisies, asters, and allies)  
  Subfamily Asteroideae  
  Supertribe Asterodae  
  Tribe Astereae (asters and allies)  
  Subtribe Solidagininae  
  Genus Solidago (goldenrods)  
  Subgenus Pleiactila  
  Section Unilaterales  
  Subsection Triplinerviae  
  Species Solidago canadensis (Canada goldenrod)  

Subordinate Taxa








Common Names


Canada goldenrod

Canadian goldenrod

Harger’s goldenrod












The release of a chemical toxin by one plant to inhibit the growth or germination of nearby competing plants.



Modified leaves at the base of a flower stalk or flower cluster.



A collective name for all of the petals of a flower.



Pale green or bluish gray due to a whitish, powdery or waxy film, as on a plum or a grape.



A whorl of bracts beneath or surrounding a flower or flower cluster.



A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

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