Goldenrod, Rigid (Stiff)

Botanical Name Solidago rigida
Life Cycle Perennial
Environment Full Sun
Preferred Sites Upland/Grassland
Bloom Period August-October
Flower Color Yellow


Stiff Goldenrod is a native perennial recognized by its broad, flat-topped inflorescence. The plant is a member of the Compositae, or aster family. It attains a height of over one meter. It flowers during the fall aspect. The Goldenrod flowers are like miniature asters and are all yellow. They are arranged in an inflorescence which is about 15 cm across and flat across the top. The leaves of goldenrod are stiff, rough textured and are alternately arranged on the stem. The leaves on the lower part of the plant are oblong and have short petioles. The upper leaves are lanceolate and are sessile; there are also longer basal leaves which overwinter. Stiff Goldenrod is more palatable than other members of the Goldenrod group but is still infrequently grazed. It behaves in prairie as an invader, i.e., it tends to come into pastures in greater amount when the prairie has been weakened by grazing. Goldenrod grows in prairies and dry woods from Massachusetts to Saskatchewan, South to Texas and Georgia.

PURPOSE: Stiff Goldenrod can be used in the following situations: roadside plantings, wildlife food and habitat, wildflower gardens because of its attractive bright yellow flowers, and as a small component in a seeding mixture for prairie restoration. Source: Seed of these collections of Stiff Goldenrod was collected from native stands throughout the Northern counties of the state of Iowa.

ESTABLISHMENT: Prepare a clean weed free seedbed by disking and harrowing. Firm the seedbed by cultipacking. Seedbed should be firm enough to allow the seed to be planted 1/4 inch deep. A seeder with a legume box works well in the seeding operation, although other types of seeders or an Illustrated Guide to Iowa Prairie Plants Paul Christiansen and Mark Muller University of Iowa Press drills may be used. Stiff Goldenrod is easily propagated from seed. Seed sown in spring will produce transplants in one season. For permanent plantings, use transplants in fall or spring. Plants are largely cross-pollinated.

FERTILIZER: Apply no fertilizer the establishment year unless soil test indicates a severe deficiency of potassium and/or phosphorus. Use no nitrogen during the establishment year as this can encourage weed competition.

SEEDING RATES: Adequate seeding rates for Stiff Goldenrod should be about .25 pound of pure live seed (PLS) in a mixture. One pound (PLS) per acre is sufficient for seed production plantings. There are approximately 770,000 clean seeds in one pound of stiff goldenrod.

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