Goldenrod, Downy Ragged



Botanical Name: Solidago petiolaris

Common Name:  Downy Ragged Goldenrod, Downy Goldenrod

Description: There are 21 native species of Solidago that grow in Florida. This beautiful plant is one of them. Goldenrod species have different growth habits, so be sure to choose one that fits the height and spreading habit that you need for your garden.

Downy Ragged Goldenrod is a native perennial in the daisy family that grows about 3′ tall. It has striking yellow flowers in clusters that attract a variety of pollinators and beneficial insects. It blooms in late summer to fall. Yellow flowers bloom in a cylindrical panicle 4-10 inches long. Individual flowers have 5-10 ray florets that surround a dense head of 8-20 disk florets. Green to yellow-green leaves are alternate and 1-4″ long and ¼–1″ across. Shape is elliptic to broadly elliptic, or lanceolate-elliptic. The margins are entire to slightly toothed toward their tips. The upper surface has minute stiff hairs giving it a rough feel. The under surface is lighter in color with hairs along the veins. Leaves are stemless or have very short stems. Abundant leaves are produced and become smaller as they ascend the stems. Over time the plant will form dense patches, but it doesn’t sucker extensively. It is somewhat drought tolerant, but it can experience leaf drop if planted in extremely dry soils. 

It has special value to native bees and honey bees, attracts the good bugs, wasps, songbirds, and 112 species of butterflies and moths. It also supports Wavy-lined Emerald moth (Synchlora aerata) larvae.

Native habitat is in clay, loam, sand, and shallow rocky acidic soils in sun, part sun, or part shade. Likes average moist to somewhat dry soils with good drainage.
Would be beautiful planted with Florida paintbrush, butterfly milkweed, Liatris, or Flyr’s Nemesis.

I can’t find much information confirming how salt tolerant this goldenrod is. Please let me know if you have used this in a coastal situation.

This plant in 1-gallon containers is 8-15″ tall.

Plant Lore:  *“Downy” may be a reference to early pubescence of stems and leaves which is mostly lost with plant maturity. “Ragged” may be based on the plant’s overall appearance at bloom-time: its long unbranched stems of varying lengths; its firmly positioned, often sprawling and twisty stems; and leaves that drop as available moisture declines.

Florida Hardiness Zones 8 – 10


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