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    "Solidago" is from the Latin "solidus" meaning "whole" or "solid", referring to the plant's supposed ability to heal. Linnaeus named this genus in 1753.  "Goldenrod" is a common name applied to all Solidagos.
Solidago multiradiata
Solidago multiradiata (Rocky Mountain Goldenrod)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Openings, woodlands. Summer.
Kilpacker Trail, July 22, 2004.

This is a very common plant of open forests and mountainsides.  Because it often grows in small, dense patches and has numerous small flowers, it can give the impression of a very small fuzzy-top shrub.  It grows to over two feet tall, but plants are more commonly about a foot tall.

This is the most common of several Solidagos in the Four Corners area. It is distinguished by its rounded arrangement of flower heads (rather than elongated and one-sided, see Solidago velutina); by its mostly glabrous (without hairs) leaves; and most importantly by its numerous (usually 13) ray flowers.

The first specimen of this plant was collected in eastern Canada either in 1765 by Moravian missionaries in Labrador or by Joseph Banks in Newfoundland and Labrador in 1766.  Aiton named the plant in 1789. "Multiradiata" refers to the "many ray flowers".

Solidago multiradiata
Solidago multiradiata (Rocky Mountain Goldenrod)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Openings, woodlands. Summer.
Colorado Trail above Roaring Fork, July 26, 2004.

Solidago nana
Solidago nana (Dwarf Goldenrod)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills. Openings, woodlands. Summer.
Lone Mesa State Park, August 1, 2009.

Solidago nana is very similar to S. simplex but leaves on S. nana are finely and densely short-hairy; leaves of S. simplex are glabrous (smooth and without hairs).

Thomas Nuttall discovered this plant in the "Rocky Mountain range, near Lewis' River of the Shoshonee" in 1834 and he described it in 1841.

Solidago nana

Solidago nana (Dwarf Goldenrod)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills. Openings, woodlands. Summer.
Lone Mesa State Park, August 1, 2009

Minute flowers top stiff, reddish stems.  Masses of basal leaves can cover several square feet and be quite common.

Solidago nana

Solidago nana (Dwarf Goldenrod)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills. Openings, woodlands. Summer.
Lone Mesa State Park, August 1, 2009.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Solidago multiradiata

Range map for Solidago nana