Euthamia gymnospermoides (Great Plains Goldenrod)
|Also known as:||Texas Goldentop, Viscid Goldenrod|
|Habitat:||sun; average to dry, sandy soil; open prairie and savanna|
|Bloom season:||July - September|
|Plant height:||18 to 36 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FAC MW: FACW NCNE: FACW|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Dense, semi-round to flat-topped clusters of 14 to 20 small, yellow flowers at the tips of stems and branches throughout crown. Individual flowers are narrowly cylindrical, about ¼ inch long and about half as wide with 9 to 13 short rays (petals) and 4 to 6 central disk flowers.
Leaves and stems:
Leaves are simple and alternate, mostly linear, 1½ to 3¾ inches long and 1/10 to 2/10 inch wide, usually with one dominant vein, largest leaves with 1 or 2 additional, but obscure veins. The tips are gently tapered to a sharp point and the bases are stalkless. Surfaces are smooth except for rough textured edges or a few hairs along the veins on the underside. Also present are very small, glandular dots densely covering the surface though a hand lens is required to see these. Stems are hairless, mostly unbranched in the lower plant with many erect branches on the upper stem, creating a bushy crown.
Once included in the Solidago genus, Great Plains Goldenrod is similar to other goldenrods except for its narrow linear leaves and bushy habit with many small flower clusters throughout the crown. It is very similar to Grass-leaved Goldenrod (Euthamia graminifolia) which can be distinguished by the 3 to 5 distinct veins on its leaves, larger clusters of smaller flowers, typically twice as many flowers per cluster, twice as many (though minute) rays per flower, and mostly stalkless flowers. Habitat is also diagnostic with E. gymnospermoides preferring higher and drier open prairie where E. graminifolia is found on lower, moist to wet prairies, shores and wetlands.
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Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken at Ordway Prairie (TNC) in Pope county and at Helen Allison SNA (TNC) in Anoka county.
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