Seaside Goldenrod, Beach Botany

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Seaside Goldenrod, Solidago sempervirens, is an herbaceous perennial that can grow to a height of 8’. A member of the Asteraceae Family, sempervirens grows on coastal sand dunes and in tidal marshes, rarely inland. A sturdy and erect stem is attached to a fibrous root system. The stem continues upward through a basal rosette with linear leaves up to 16” in length. Narrow linear leaves are alternate on the stem. Leaves ascend upward and reduce in length going up the stem. Leaves are glabrous, sessile and entire.

Arching branches occur on the upper portion of the stem.  Going upwards the length of the branches is also reduced.   Clusters of small yellow flower heads  open in the leaf axils on the branches. Flower heads have a corolla with only 4 to 6 ray florets and just a few elongated disk florets at the center of the corolla. Diameter is ¼” to ½”. Inflorescence is a panicle.  At the tip of the stem is a straight wand of flower heads. Blooming occurs in summer and fall. Fruit is an achene with 2 windblown seeds.

Sempervirens is distributed along the central and southern county shorelines. There are 21 species in the Genus Solidagio in Florida. All are native. The specimen in the picture was found in Matanzas Pass Preserve.