Missouri goldenrod

(Solidago missouriensis)

Conservation Status


No image available

  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed


Missouri goldenrod is a 12 to 32 tall, erect, perennial forb rising on 1 to 50 or more sterile and fertile shoots from a creeping rhizome and, sometimes, from a caudex. It is colonial and forms large, dense patches. In a dense colony the inner shoots will be sterile, only the outer shoots producing flowers.

The stem is erect, hairless and unbranched below the inflorescence. It is sometimes sparsely hairy in the inflorescence. It is not shiny and not covered with a whitish, waxy bloom (glaucous).

The leaves are alternate, somewhat thickened, and stiff. A tight bundle of small, wing-like leaves often appears in the leaf axils. Lower stem leaves are on winged leaf stalks up to 2 long. They are inversely lance-shaped to linear lance-shaped, 2 to 5 long, and 3 16 to 13 16 wide but usually to ¾ wide, mostly 7 to 10 times as long as wide. They taper at the base to the leaf stalk and taper at the tip to a sharp point. They usually have 3 conspicuous parallel veins noticeable at least on the undersurface. The upper and lower surfaces are hairless. The margins are untoothed or toothed with sharp, forward-pointing teeth. Middle and upper stem leaves are stalkless or almost stalkless, lance-shaped to linear, 1½ to 2 long, and to 9 16 wide, becoming rapidly smaller as they ascend the stem. All but the uppermost leaves have 3 conspicuous parallel veins.

The inflorescence is a wider than tall, pyramidal or diamond-shaped, branched cluster at the end of the stem with 10 to 210 flower heads. It can be ½ to 8 long but is usually 1 to 4¾ long and 1 to 4¾ wide. The branches are strongly bent backward. The flower heads are arranged mostly on one side of the branch.

The flower heads have 5 to 14 yellow ray florets and 6 to 20, usually at least 8, yellow disk florets.




12 to 32


Flower Color


Yellow ray flowers, yellow disk flowers


Similar Species


Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis var. canadensis) is a taller plant, up to 7 tall. The stem is hairy above the middle. Lower stem leaves are stalkless. The leaves are thin, not stiff. They become only slightly smaller or are the same size toward the top of the stem. The lower leaf surface usually has hairs along the midrib and main veins. The flower heads have only 3 to 6 disk florets.


Dry to moist. Prairies, thickets, roadsides, sparsely wooded or open places.




July to August


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28, 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)  
  Suybgenus Pleiactila  
  Section Unilaterales  



Subordinate Taxa


Four varieties have been described based on a number of characters. However, the characters appear to intergrade with each other. A detailed study of this species is needed. Until that happens, most taxonomists do not recognize any varieties.




Solidago glaberrima

Solidago missouriensis var. extraria

Solidago glaberrima var. moritura

Solidago missouriensis var. fasciculata

Solidago missouriensis var. glaberrima

Solidago missouriensis var. missouriensis

Solidago missouriensis var. montana

Solidago missouriensis var. tenuissima

Solidago missouriensis var. tolmieana

Solidago tenuissima


Common Names


Missouri goldenrod

prairie goldenrod










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



A short, thickened, woody, persistent enlargement of the stem, at or below ground level, used for water storage.



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



Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.



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

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