FAMILY: Compositae (Asteraceae)
HABIT: Perennial herb to 1.6 m.; flowering
July-September; fruiting August-October.
SPECIES: Solidago is an
extremely complex genus with many species in Ohio. S. odora can generally be distinguished from other Ohio
species by its entire, lanceolate to linear-lanceolate leaves which are
anise-scented when crushed. These
characters are not always reliable and the species must be identified by a
combination of flower and leaf characters.
RANGE: MA, NH, and VT to s. OH and s.
MO; s. to FL and LA and in easternmost OK and TX.
RANGE: There are extant populations in
Jackson and Scioto counties.
STATUS: 1980-1981: Threatened, 1982-1987:
Endangered, 1988 to present: Threatened.
HABITAT: Dry, open to semi-open situations; usually
in sandy or rocky, acid soil: open woods, thinly wooded slopes, thickets and
HAZARDS: Overshading by woody species as a result of
POTENTIAL: Unknown, but presumed
good. Most of the Ohio populations are
growing on roadbanks.
GUIDELINES: Examination of the complete
plant, including underground parts, basal leaves, and mature flowering or
fruiting material, is necessary for positive identification of species of the
COMMENTS: The character of having entire,
linear-lanceolate leaves that are anise-scented when crushed cannot be relied
upon solely to identify S. odora.
The leaves of Solidago graminifolia are entire, lance-linear, and
give a slight anise scent when crushed.
However, the inflorescence of S. odora is paniculiflorm, whereas
the inflorescence of S. graminifolia is corymbiform.
When in bloom it is a conspicuous and
easily identified species, but vegetative material may be overlooked. Cronquist (1980) splits this species into
two varieties. Using this concept, Ohio
plants are the typical variety.
A. 1980. Vascular flora of the southeastern United States. Vol. I.
Asteraceae. Univ. of North
Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. xv + 261 p.
Fisher, T.R. 1988. The Dicotyledoneae of Ohio.
Part 3. Asteraceae. Ohio State Univ. Press, Columbus. 280 pp.
Division of Natural Areas and Preserves
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
James F. Burns