Growth Form:Forb/herb; plants mostly upright (erect); several green or reddish stems; plants mostly hairless (glabrous); forming small colonies, base becoming woody with age.
Leaves: Green; leaves rigid, 4 or 5 inches (10-12 cm) long, gradually becoming smaller up the stem, blades variable but generally oblanceolate; leaf edges (margins) without teeth or serrate; leaves arranged alternately along the stems.
Flower Color: Golden yellow; numerous small floral heads in a plume-like array; floral heads with both ray and diskflorets; fruit is a cypsela.
Flowering Season: June and July to August or October
Elevation: 650 to 9,000 feet (182-2,743 m)
Habitat Preferences: Upper elevations, sandy, gravelly, rocky and clay soils, mostly dry or moist soils; prairies, grasslands, open areas, open conifer forests, along streams and in disturbed (ruderale) areas.
Recorded Range: Found throughout most of central United States, Canada and northern Mexico. Throughout most of Arizona in higher elevations.
Threatened/Endangered Information: The state of Michigan has listed Solidago missouriensis, Missouri Goldenrod as Threatened.
Genus Information: In North America there are 70 species for Solidago. Worldwide, The Plant List includes 117 accepted species names and a further 390 scientific names of infraspecific rank for Solidago.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona and California each haves 9 species of Solidago, Nevada and Utah each have 8 species, New Mexico has 13 species and Texas has 25 species. Data approximate and subject to revision.
There are 4 varieties in Solidago missouriensis; Solidago missouriensis var. fasciculate, (central N. America and eastern ¾ Canada);
Solidago missouriensis var. missouriensis, (western ⅓ of N. America and AB, BC, Canada);
Solidago missouriensis var. tenuissima, (AZ, CO, NM);
Solidago missouriensis var. tolmieana, Tolmie's Goldenrod, (OR, WA).
Comments: Missouri Goldenrod is an early blooming goldenrod with a low growing profile that prefers sunny areas in higher elevations. This species has multiplying rhizomes that forms small colonies in disturbed soils. It is highly variable across its wide range and at least four varieties are currently accepted.
Importance to Wildlife, Birds and Livestock
Missouri Goldenrod, Solidago missouriensis has small but showy flowers, the flowers and their seeds and plants may be visited by hummingbirds and/or small mammals including rodents and granivorous birds in search of nectar or food.
According to the DOA, USFS, Fire Effects Information System, (Kris Zouhar, Eva Masin, 2020) “Missouri Goldenrod is not highly palatable to wild ungulates, but may be occasionally grazed by bison and pronghorn. It is used infrequently by small mammals and birds and it is an important food for goldenrod leaf beetles. Missouri goldenrod is grazed only sparingly by domestic cattle, and sheep, and it may even be toxic to sheep”.
Beneficial Value to Butterflies, Honey Bees and Insects
Missouri Goldenrod, Solidago missouriensis has small but showy flowers, the flowers and their plants are magnets to butterflies, moths, honeybees, native bees and other insects in search of nectar and/or other food.
According to the DOA, USFS, Fire Effects Information System, (Kris Zouhar, Eva Masin, 2020), “Missouri Goldenrod is an important species for honey production: the pollen is highly desirable to several bee species”.
Special Value to Native Bees
According to The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, Missouri Goldenrod, Solidago missouriensis is recognized by pollination ecologists as attracting large numbers of Native bees. Click here for more information on their Pollinator Conservation Program.
Supports Conservation Biological Control
According to The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, (Kris Zouhar, Eva Masin, 2020), Missouri Goldenrod, Solidago missouriensis is a plant that attracts predatory or parasitoid insects that prey upon pest insects. Click here for more information on their Conservation Biological Control program.
U.S. Forest Service; Fire Effects Information System (FEIS)
See the U.S. Forest Service online collection of reviews of the scientific literature for management considerations of Solidago missouriensis, here.
The genus “Solidago” (Solida'go:) from the Latin solido, meaning “to make whole or heal” and a reference to the supposed, medicinal qualities of these plants.
The species epithet “missouriensis” (missourien'sis:) of or from Missouri.
According to the U.S. Forest Service; DOA, USFS, Fire Effects Information System (FEIS),(Kris Zouhar, Eva Masin, 2020), “Missouri goldenrod is a traditional medicinal plant of American Indians, used to relieve sore throats and toothache”.