Solidago ptarmicoides (Upland White Goldenrod)
|Also known as:||Prairie Goldenrod, Sneezewort Aster|
|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):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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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.
Leaves and stems:
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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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?