Blue-Stemmed Goldenrod

Blue-stemmed Goldenrod flower

Common Name:  Blue-stemmed Goldenrod         

Scientific Name: Solidago caesia

Family: Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Alternate Common Names: Woodland Goldenrod, Wreath Goldenrod

Plant description: Blue-stemmed Goldenrod has sparingly branched, arching stems that are green when young but turn blueish purple with age.  Leaves are alternate, elliptic-oblong (long and rounded) in shape and measure about 12cm long, 2cm wide and become smaller as they ascend the stem. They are stalkless, hairless and have serrated edges. Small clusters of 1-12 yellow flowers develop from upper leaf axils (where the leaf meets the stem) and at the very tip of the stem. Each flower is 3mm wide and has 4-5 ray flowers (petals) surrounding 4-5 disk flowers. At the base of each flower, you will notice small bracts that are overlapping, smooth and oblong. Flowers mature into small, finely haired seeds that have small tufts of hairs attached to them.

In the Garden: Blue-stemmed Goldenrod is a shade-loving goldenrod with a well-behaved clumping habit. As if its graceful, arching stems and dark green leaves aren’t reason enough to love this plant, it is adorned with bright yellow flowers late in the season that make it a real crowd-pleaser.

Early spring leaves of blue-stemmed goldenrod

Skill level:  beginner

Lifespan: perennial

Exposure: medium shade to full sun

Soil Type: most well drained soils; tolerates poor soil

Moisture: medium to dry

Height: 45-90 cm

Spread:  30-60 cm

Spacing: 45 cm

Bloom Period: late-Aug, Sep

Colour: yellow

Fragrant (Y/N): N

Showy Fruit (Y/N): N

Cut Flower (Y/N): Y

Pests: no serious insect or disease problems though rust may be an occasional problem

Natural Habitat: rich, deciduous or open woods, the edges of woods and in clearings

Butterfly Larva Host Plant For: none

Wildlife value: attracts native and honeybees, wasps, flies and butterflies and the seeds are occasionally eaten by the several small songbirds

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-8

Propagation: Small seeds need light to germinate and benefit from 90 days cold, moist stratification. Mature plants may be divided and new plants may be started from stem cuttings.

Additional Info: This species is primarily clump-forming and does not spread aggressively as do some of the other goldenrod species and hybrids.

Native Range:

Tell tale blue stem of the blue-stemmed goldenrod