Solidago ptarmicoides (Upland White Goldenrod)

Plant Info
Also known as: Prairie Goldenrod, Sneezewort Aster
Family:Asteraceae (Aster)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:part shade, sun; dry sandy or rocky prairies, bluffs, rocky open woods, rocky outcrops
Bloom season:July - September
Plant height:1 to 2 feet
Wetland Indicator Status:none
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 7+petals Cluster type: flat

[photo of flowers] Open flat clusters of 3 to 60 daisy-like flowers on 1-inch stalks at the top of the plant. The flowers are about ½ inch across with 10 to 20 white rays (petals) around a creamy white to pale yellow disk.

[photo of bracts] The floral bracts are narrow, light green at the base, darker green at the tip end, often with a prominent nerve. Where the flower stalk joins the stem is often a small leafy bract.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves can be smooth or rough textured, mostly toothless except for a few noticeable teeth towards the tip, mostly lance linear, the lower ones stalked and sometimes more lance oval, up to 7½ inches long, upper leaves progressively smaller, becoming stalkless, and scale-like in the flower clusters. Stems are erect and rigid, clustered from the underground root crown (caudex), mostly unbranched except in the flower cluster, sometimes smooth below but typically rough textured in the upper plant.


Upland White Goldenrod, often called Upland White Aster (Oligoneuron album), prefers dry prairie soils but is also common in the rocky cracks of Lake Superior's north shore. While it can't be confused with any other Minnesota goldenrod, which are all yellow, it can be mistaken for a white aster species, and was long considered an aster (Aster ptarmicoides), but it is known to hybridize with other goldenrods, Riddell's Goldenrod (Solidago riddellii) in Minnesota, the hybrid (Solidago × bernardii) producing flowers with pale yellow rays.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken along the north shore of Lake Superior in Lake County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Anoka and Lake counties.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Gretchen - Pine County, St. Croix State Park South of Campground Road
on: 2013-03-05 14:44:24

Located south of Campground Road in opening. Scattered, healthy populations.

Posted by: Brian
on: 2013-03-08 19:12:09

I saw this species in bloom twice in August 2012: at Mound Prairie SNA (near Hokah in far southeastern Minnesota) on August 9, and at Spring Creek Prairie (near Red Wing) on August 29. It was growing in gravelly habitat at Mound, and on gravelly/sandy habitat at Spring Creek, with both spots being elevated.

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