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Golden Rod – Solidago virgaurea.

Leaves and Stem

The leaves are quite long and thin (lanceolate) and may be irregularly toothed.  The leaves near to the bottom of the stem may be 2 to 10 cm long, with short stalks (petioles).  The leaves further up the stem tend to be a bit narrower than the bottom leaves.

The edge of the leaf may be 'hairy' - see image.


The stems may be downy - covered in small hairs (image at foot of page).

Flowers and Fruits

Golden Rod is a member of the daisy family (Asteraceae or Compositae).  The flowers are composites; that is, they are actually many small flowers packed closely together into a compound head - which seems like a single flower.

The individual flowers that make up this compound head are called florets.  These florets are of two types :

Disc florets - where the petals are joined together to form a tube which ends in small 'teeth'

Ray Florets - again the petals are joined together, but there is an obvious petal-like flap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the seeds form, wind dispersal is helped by white fluffy hairs.

Ecology and other notes

Golden Rod is a perennial. It may grow to a height of 70 cm i.e. 2 feet or more, but it can also be quite small.

It is quite variable in form and height.

The stems may be downy - particularly those supporting the flowers (see adjacent image).

Golden Rod may be found in dry, open places in woodland, or in grassland and rocky places.

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