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Solidago bicolor

Solidago bicolor L.

 

Silverrod

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderAsteralesFlowering plants with a central disk flower and surrounding petals, like daisies
FamilyAsteraceaeThe aster family, which also includes daisies and sunflowers; from the Greek ἀστήρ, “star,” for the star-shaped flowers
GenusSolidagoFrom Latin solido, “to make whole or heal,” because it was believed these species had healing properties
Speciesbicolor“Two-colored”

About plant names...

Silverrod is a North American native. For a comparison chart of some of the varieties of goldenrods, see Solidago.

Identification: The most important identifying feature of this goldenrod is that it isn’t golden: it is silver (well, okay, cream-colored). This is the only white-flowering Solidago. (Just to confuse matters, occasionally, they may appear more yellow in color.) Each flower is less than ¼" (6.3 mm) across, with whitish rays as well as a tiny yellow disk. Flowers appear August through October. Flowers are evenly spaced around each stem, not just on one side. Plants are up to 3' (1 m) high, and are found in fields, or in forests open enough to admit a fair amount of light. Stems are “hispido-villous”—fancy talk for “having [relatively] long and soft hairs.” Plant tops may branch into several clusters of vaguely conical flowerheads—flowers are in clusters along each branch. Lower leaves are 2-4" (5-10 cm) long, with shallow teeth and a grayish down. Upper leaves are elliptical in shape, with a single prominent central vein.

Edibility: Poisonous Skull & Crossbones Leaves and berries contain solanine, a poisonous alkaloid.

Online References:

Solidago bicolor on Ontario Wildflowers

Solidago bicolor at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Solidago bicolor on Erv Evans' site at the North Carolina State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Solidago bicolor on eFloras

Solidago bicolor at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium

References:

Newcomb, Lawrence, Morrison, Gordon (Illus.), Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide, Little, Brown and Company, 1977, p. 382

Peterson, Roger Tory, McKenny, Margaret, Peterson Field Guides: A Field Guide to Wildflowers of Northeastern and North Central North America, Houghton Mifflin, 1968, p. 58

Thierer, John W., Niering, William A, Olmstead, Nancy C., National Audabon Society Field Guide to North American Flowers, Eastern Region, Alfred A. Knopf, 2001, p. 109, 414

Brandenburg, David M., National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Wildflowers of North America, Andrew Stuart Publishing, Inc., 2010, p. 136

Solidago bicolor (Silverrod)

9/17/2016 · Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor, ME

Solidago bicolor (Silverrod)

9/9/2010 · Pine Meadow Conservation Trust Land, Groton Harvard Road, Ayer, MA
≈ 5 × 8" (13 × 19 cm) ID is uncertain

Solidago bicolor (Silverrod)

I don't usually see them this big, but it is pretty common to see them tipped sideways like this. · 9/17/2013 · Andres Institute of Art, Big Bear Mountain, Brookline, NH
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 21 cm)

Solidago bicolor (Silverrod)

9/17/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Solidago bicolor (Silverrod)

9/17/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 6" (18 × 15 cm)

Solidago bicolor (Silverrod)

8/16/2012 · Mt. Tom State Reservation, Dynamite Trail, Holyoke, MA
≈ 4 × 4½" (10 × 11 cm)

Solidago bicolor (Silverrod)

8/28/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, East Pepperell, MA
≈ 4½ × 7" (11 × 17 cm)

Solidago bicolor (Silverrod)

9/9/2010 · Pine Meadow Conservation Trust Land, Groton Harvard Road, Ayer, MA
≈ 9 × 14" (23 × 35 cm) ID is uncertain

Solidago bicolor description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 5 Oct 2016.

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Solidago bicolor (Silverrod)

9/17/2012 · Blood Dragon Ravine, Jeff Smith Trail, Pepperell, MA
≈ 3½ × 5" (9.2 × 13 cm)

Solidago bicolor (Silverrod)

9/24/2010 · Nissitissit River Wildlife Management Area, Pepperell, MA
≈ 4½ × 3" (11 × 7.9 cm)

Solidago bicolor (Silverrod)

9/9/2010 · Pine Meadow Conservation Trust Land, Groton Harvard Road, Ayer, MA
≈ 7 × 11" (18 × 27 cm) ID is uncertain

Solidago bicolor (Silverrod)

9/17/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Solidago bicolor (Silverrod)

9/24/2010 · Nissitissit River Wildlife Management Area, Pepperell, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Solidago bicolor (Silverrod)

9/17/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 5" (15 × 13 cm)

Solidago bicolor (Silverrod)

9/4/2013 · Amos Kendall Conservation Area, Dunstable, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 12 cm)

Solidago bicolor (Silverrod)

9/16/2016 · Sieur de Monts Botanical Gardens, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME

Solidago bicolor (Silverrod)

8/16/2012 · Mt. Tom State Reservation, Dynamite Trail, Holyoke, MA
≈ 5 × 8" (13 × 19 cm)

Solidago bicolor (Silverrod)

9/17/2012 · Blood Dragon Ravine, Jeff Smith Trail, Pepperell, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm)

Solidago bicolor (Silverrod)

9/9/2010 · Pine Meadow Conservation Trust Land, Groton Harvard Road, Ayer, MA
≈ 7 × 11" (18 × 27 cm) ID is uncertain

Solidago bicolor (Silverrod)

9/4/2013 · Amos Kendall Conservation Area, Dunstable, MA
≈ 6 × 5" (16 × 12 cm)

Range:

About this map...