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Solidago juncea (Goldenrod, Early goldenrod, Yellow top)

Solidago juncea Photo/Illustration: C. Colston Burrell


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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Botanical Name: Solidago juncea sol-ih-DAY-go JUN-see-ah Common Name: Goldenrod, Early goldenrod, Yellow top Genus: Solidago
This is the first goldenrod to bloom, featuring bright yellow, plume-like panicles in midsummer. It has dark green leaves along reddish stems, which form a vase-shaped clump when mature. 
Noteworthy characteristics: S. juncea is the earliest blooming goldenrod.
Care: Grow in lean to moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. Deadhead to prevent prolific self-seeding. It will not tolerate alkaline, clay soils.
Propagation: Divide in spring or fall.
Problems: Spot anthracnose, powdery mildew, rust, fungal spots.
Height 1 ft. to 3 ft.
Spread 1 ft. to 3 ft.
Growth Habit Clumps
Growth Pace Moderate Grower
Light Full Sun Only
Moisture Dry to Medium
Maintenance Low
Tolerance Deer Tolerant;Drought Tolerant;Frost Tolerant
Characteristics Attracts Butterflies; Native; Self Seeds; Showy Flowers; Showy Seed Heads
Bloom Time Summer
Flower Color Yellow Flower
Uses Beds and Borders, Ground Covers, Cut Flower, Dried Flower, Naturalizing, Roadside
Style Meadow Garden
Seasonal Interest Summer Interest, Fall Interest
Type Perennials

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(Goldenrod, Gray goldenrod)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This is one of the smallest species of goldenrod, topping out at only 4 to 6 inches high in poor soils, and 2 feet high in fertile soils. It is considered a garden-worthy species, with gray-green leaves that form clumps and languid, one-sided yellow plumes. It is tolerant of both sandy and clay soils.

Solidago flexicaulis Solidago flexicaulis
(Goldenrod, Zigzag goldenrod)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This species is aptly named for its distinctive crooked stems that bend back and forth at 45° angles between nodes. It bears starry, medium-yellow flowers atop 1- to 3-foot tall stems. 

no image available Solidago speciosa
(Goldenrod, Showy goldenrod)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This garden-worthy species has dramatic, bright yellow flowers that are arranged into erect, pointed clusters. It has deep reddish stems that grow to 3 feet tall. It blooms in late summer and early autumn.

Solidago sphacelata 'Golden Fleece' Solidago sphacelata 'Golden Fleece'
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This outstanding cultivar forms a neat, 1-foot tall groundcover. It has dense, branched panicles that splay upward and outward whimsically, resembling a mass of elegantly bunched bouquets. 

Solidago cutleri 'Goldrush' Solidago cutleri 'Goldrush'
(Goldenrod, Alpine goldenrod, Cutler's alpine goldenrod)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

'Goldrush' heralds the coming of fall with masses of tiny, yellow flowers for four weeks in August and September. Its compact size—about a foot tall—makes it a great candidate for a rock garden or border edge.