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Early Goldenrod

Solidago gigantea

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Also in this family:
Alpine Blue Sow-thistle, Alpine Cotula, Alpine Fleabane, Alpine Saw-wort, Annual Ragweed, Annual Sunflower, Argentine Fleabane, Autumn Hawkbit, Autumn Oxeye, Beaked Hawksbeard, Beggarticks, Bilbao Fleabane, Black Knapweed, Black-eyed Susan, Blanketflower, Blue Fleabane, Blue Globe-thistle, Bristly Oxtongue, Broad-leaved Cudweed, Broad-leaved Ragwort, Brown Knapweed, Butterbur, Buttonweed, Cabbage Thistle, Canadian Fleabane, Canadian Goldenrod, Carline Thistle, Chalk Knapweed, Chamois Ragwort, Changing Michaelmas Daisy, Chicory, Chinese Mugwort, Chinese Ragwort, Coltsfoot, Common Blue Sow-thistle, Common Cat's-ear, Common Cudweed, Common Daisy, Common Dandelion, Common Fleabane, Common Goldenrod, Common Groundsel, Common Michaelmas Daisy, Common Mugwort, Common Ragwort, Common Wormwood, Coneflower, Confused Michaelmas Daisy, Corn Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Cotton Thistle, Cottonweed, Creeping Thistle, Daisy Bush, Dwarf Cudweed, Dwarf Thistle, Eastern Groundsel, Eastern Leopardsbane, Elecampane, English Hawkweed, Fen Ragwort, Feverfew, Field Fleawort, Field Wormwood, Fox and Cubs, French Tarragon, Gallant Soldier, Garden Lettuce, Giant Butterbur, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed, Glandular Globe-thistle, Glaucous Michaelmas Daisy, Globe Artichoke, Globe-thistle, Goat's Beard, Golden Ragwort, Golden Samphire, Goldilocks Aster, Grass-leaved Goldenrod, Great Lettuce, Greater Burdock, Greater Knapweed, Grey-headed Hawkweed, Guernsey Fleabane, Hairless Blue Sow-thistle, Hairless Leptinella, Hairy Michaelmas Daisy, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Heath Cudweed, Heath Groundsel, Hemp Agrimony, Highland Cudweed, Hoary Mugwort, Hoary Ragwort, Hybrid Knapweed, Intermediate Burdock, Irish Fleabane, Jersey Cudweed, Jerusalem Artichoke, Lance-leaved Hawkweed, Lavender-cotton, Leafless Hawksbeard, Least Lettuce, Leopardplant, Leopardsbane, Leptinella, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Hawkbit, Lesser Sunflower, London Bur-marigold, Magellan Ragwort, Marsh Cudweed, Marsh Hawksbeard, Marsh Ragwort, Marsh Sow-thistle, Marsh Thistle, Meadow Thistle, Melancholy Thistle, Mexican Fleabane, Milk Thistle, Mountain Everlasting, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Musk Thistle, Narrow-leaved Cudweed, Narrow-leaved Hawkweed, Narrow-leaved Michaelmas Daisy, Narrow-leaved Ragwort, New England Hawkweed, New Zealand Holly, Nipplewort, Nodding Bur-marigold, Northern Hawksbeard, Norwegian Mugwort, Oxeye Daisy, Oxford Ragwort, Pearly Everlasting, Perennial Cornflower, Perennial Ragweed, Perennial Sow-thistle, Perennial Sunflower, Pineapple Mayweed, Plantain-leaved Leopardsbane, Ploughman's Spikenard, Plymouth Thistle, Pontic Blue Sow-thistle, Pot Marigold, Prickly Lettuce, Prickly Sow-thistle, Purple Coltsfoot, Rayed Tansy, Red Star Thistle, Red-seeded Dandelion, Red-tipped Cudweed, Robin's Plantain, Roman Chamomile, Rough Cocklebur, Rough Hawkbit, Rough Hawksbeard, Russian Lettuce, Safflower, Salsify, Saw-wort, Scented Mayweed, Scentless Mayweed, Sea Aster, Sea Mayweed, Sea Wormwood, Seaside Daisy, Shaggy Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shaggy Soldier, Shasta Daisy, Shetland Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shrub Ragwort, Sicilian Chamomile, Silver Ragwort, Slender Mugwort, Slender Thistle, Small Cudweed, Small Fleabane, Smooth Cat's-ear, Smooth Hawksbeard, Smooth Sow-thistle, Sneezeweed, Sneezewort, Spear Thistle, Spotted Cat's-ear, Spotted Hawkweed, Sticky Groundsel, Stinking Chamomile, Stinking Hawksbeard, Tall Fleabane, Tall Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Tansy, Thin-leaved Sunflower, Treasureflower, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, White African Daisy, White Butterbur, White Buttons, Willdenow's Leopardsbane, Winter Heliotrope, Wood Burdock, Wood Ragwort, Woody Fleabane, Woolly Thistle, Yarrow, Yellow Chamomile, Yellow Fox and Cubs, Yellow Oxeye, Yellow Star Thistle, Yellow Thistle, York Groundsel
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
2 metres tall
Gardens, grassland, meadows, riverbanks, riversides, roadsides, seaside, wasteland, waterside, woodland.

Yellow, 8 petals
The flowers of Early Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea) are bright yellow and form dense clusters. Each individual flower consists of small, petal-like ray florets that surround a central cluster of disc florets. These striking yellow flower clusters create a visually appealing and vibrant display, attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies during late summer and early autumn.
The fruit of Early Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea) typically consists of small, dry, one-seeded achenes. These achenes are often dispersed by the wind or other means, aiding in the plant's reproductive process.
A clump-forming perennial with narrow, lance-shaped leaves, up to 5 inches (13cm) long. The stems and leaves are hairless except sometimes on the veins underneath the leaves. The leaves are sparsely sharp-toothed. The leaves are arranged alternately along the opposite sides of the stem.
Early Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea) does not have a strong or distinctive fragrance. It is primarily valued for its visual appeal and ecological role, rather than for any notable scent.
Other Names:
Giant Goldenrod, Late Goldenrod, Smooth Goldenrod, Tall Goldenrod.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Solidago gigantea, also known as giant goldenrod, is a perennial plant in the Asteraceae family native to eastern North America. It is known for its large size and striking, bright yellow flowers that bloom in late summer and fall. The plant can reach up to 6 feet tall and has a large number of branches and leaves.

The large spikes of flowers are produced at the tips of the branches, attracting a wide range of pollinators like bees, butterflies and other insects. It is often used as a ornamental plant in gardens and wildflower meadows. Also it is useful in soil stabilization, erosion control, and as a source of nectar for bees.

Solidago gigantea is a robust and easy to grow plant, tolerating a wide range of soil and light conditions. It can be grown in full sun or partial shade, in well-drained soil. Once established, it is drought tolerant and able to reseed itself.


Goldenrods are a diverse and hardy group of plants that are known for their bright yellow blooms that light up meadows and fields in late summer and early fall. One particularly striking member of this group is Solidago gigantea, commonly known as Early Goldenrod.

Solidago gigantea is native to North America, where it can be found from Manitoba to Texas and eastward to the Atlantic coast. It is a tall, upright perennial that can grow up to six feet tall in ideal conditions, but is typically closer to three or four feet in height. Its leaves are long and narrow, with a slightly toothed margin, and are arranged in a whorled pattern along the stem. The flowers are borne in dense, elongated clusters at the top of the stem, and are typically a bright, lemon-yellow color.

Early Goldenrod blooms in mid to late summer, usually beginning in July and continuing through August. Its flowers are an important nectar source for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, and it is often planted in pollinator gardens and wildflower meadows. The plant is also used in traditional medicine, where it is believed to have anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties.

Solidago gigantea is a hardy plant that is well-suited to a variety of growing conditions. It prefers full sun and moist, well-drained soil, but can also tolerate drought and poor soil. It is relatively low-maintenance, and does not require regular fertilization or pruning.

Despite its many virtues, Solidago gigantea is sometimes considered a weed in certain areas. Its ability to spread quickly by rhizomes can make it invasive in some settings, particularly in wetland habitats. For this reason, it is important to exercise caution when planting Early Goldenrod, and to monitor its growth carefully to prevent it from becoming too aggressive.

While Solidago gigantea is sometimes considered a weed in certain areas, it is an important plant for many ecosystems. Its tall stature provides cover and habitat for wildlife, and its flowers are an important food source for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. The plant is also known to attract beneficial insects, such as ladybugs and lacewings, which can help control pest populations in the garden.

In addition to its ornamental and ecological value, Solidago gigantea has a long history of use in traditional medicine. The plant is believed to have anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties, and has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and respiratory infections. Some studies have even suggested that Solidago gigantea may have antimicrobial and anticancer properties, although more research is needed to confirm these claims.

If you are interested in growing Solidago gigantea in your garden, there are a few things to keep in mind. The plant prefers full sun and well-drained soil, but can tolerate a range of soil types and growing conditions. It should be watered regularly during its first growing season, but can then be left to fend for itself, as it is relatively drought-tolerant once established.

While Solidago gigantea is not difficult to grow, it is important to keep an eye on its growth and spread. If left unchecked, it can become invasive in some settings, particularly in wetland habitats. To prevent this from happening, be sure to plant Early Goldenrod in a well-contained area, or monitor its growth regularly and remove any plants that are spreading too rapidly.

Solidago gigantea is a plant that has been traditionally used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes. They brewed the leaves and flowers into a tea that was used to treat colds, fevers, and other ailments. The plant was also used externally as a poultice to treat wounds and inflammation.

In addition to its medicinal uses, Solidago gigantea has also been used for dyeing. The plant contains a yellow pigment that has been used to dye textiles and other materials. In fact, during World War II, goldenrod was used as a substitute for rubber in the United States, as it was discovered that the plant contained a natural source of rubber.

Another interesting fact about Solidago gigantea is that it has a long history of use in folk medicine for treating urinary tract and kidney disorders. The plant is believed to have diuretic properties that can help flush toxins from the body and reduce inflammation in the urinary tract.

Despite its many benefits, Solidago gigantea is sometimes mistaken for ragweed, which can cause allergies in some people. However, it is important to note that goldenrod is not a significant source of allergens, and is not responsible for causing hay fever. In fact, the plant is actually an important source of food for many insects, and plays a vital role in supporting biodiversity in many ecosystems.

In addition to its traditional uses, Solidago gigantea has also been studied for its potential health benefits. Some studies suggest that the plant may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which could make it useful for treating a range of health conditions.

For example, one study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that Solidago gigantea extract had anti-inflammatory effects in rats with arthritis. The researchers concluded that the plant may be a useful natural remedy for reducing inflammation and pain in people with arthritis.

Another study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that Solidago gigantea extract had potent antioxidant activity, which could help protect against oxidative stress and other cellular damage. This suggests that the plant may have potential as a natural remedy for a range of conditions related to oxidative stress, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.

While more research is needed to confirm these findings and explore the full range of Solidago gigantea's potential health benefits, the plant's traditional uses and emerging scientific evidence suggest that it may be a valuable addition to a holistic health and wellness regimen.

In conclusion, Solidago gigantea, or Early Goldenrod, is a versatile and fascinating plant with a long history of use in traditional medicine, dyeing, and ecological conservation. Whether you are interested in growing the plant for its ornamental value, exploring its potential health benefits, or simply enjoying its striking yellow blooms, Solidago gigantea is a rewarding and worthwhile plant to cultivate. Just be sure to monitor its growth carefully, to prevent it from becoming too invasive.

30 Facts About Early Goldenrod

Here are 30 facts about "Early Goldenrod," also known as Solidago gigantea:

  1. "Early Goldenrod," or Solidago gigantea, is a tall and imposing species of goldenrod.

  2. It is native to North America and is found in various regions of the continent.

  3. Early Goldenrod is a perennial herb that can grow up to 7-9 feet (2-3 meters) in height, making it one of the largest goldenrod species.

  4. The plant's scientific name, "Solidago," comes from the Latin words "solidus" (meaning "whole") and "ago" (meaning "to make"), referring to its traditional medicinal uses.

  5. Early Goldenrod is known for its striking, dense clusters of bright yellow flowers.

  6. It typically blooms in late summer and early fall, providing an important food source for pollinators during this time.

  7. Its tall, towering flower spikes are a prominent feature, and they can create a stunning display in meadows and fields.

  8. The leaves of Early Goldenrod are long and lance-shaped, with serrated edges.

  9. The plant's stems are robust and can sometimes be tinged with red or purple.

  10. Early Goldenrod is commonly found in a variety of habitats, including open fields, meadows, and along roadsides.

  11. It has a preference for well-drained soils but can tolerate a range of soil types.

  12. Like other goldenrods, Early Goldenrod has rhizomatous roots that allow it to form colonies and spread.

  13. This plant is important for wildlife, providing shelter and food for various animals, including small mammals and birds.

  14. Native American tribes have historically used Early Goldenrod for medicinal purposes, such as treating fevers and gastrointestinal issues.

  15. Traditional uses of Early Goldenrod include making teas and poultices from different parts of the plant.

  16. The plant has anti-inflammatory properties and has been used to alleviate pain and discomfort.

  17. Early Goldenrod is often used in wildflower gardens and natural landscaping to attract pollinators and add height and color to the landscape.

  18. Its bright yellow blooms are a valuable nectar source for many pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and other insects.

  19. While it has been used for medicinal purposes, caution is advised, as it can cause allergic reactions in some individuals.

  20. Early Goldenrod plays a role in preventing soil erosion due to its extensive root system.

  21. The seeds of the plant are a food source for various birds, especially in the winter.

  22. The appearance of Early Goldenrod can vary depending on local environmental conditions and regional variations.

  23. It is often confused with other goldenrod species due to similarities in appearance.

  24. Early Goldenrod can be an indicator species for specific ecosystems and environmental conditions.

  25. The plant contributes to native biodiversity and supports ecosystem stability.

  26. Early Goldenrod's size and stature make it an imposing and impressive wildflower.

  27. It is a subject of interest for hikers, naturalists, and photographers who appreciate its late-season beauty.

  28. Conservation efforts are in place to protect and preserve Early Goldenrod and the ecosystems it inhabits due to its ecological importance.

  29. It is a long-lived perennial plant that can continue to thrive for many years.

  30. Early Goldenrod is an essential component of many North American wildflower meadows and prairies, contributing to the overall health of these ecosystems.


Early Goldenrod filmed in Coppull, Lancashire on the 19th and 29th of July 2023.


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Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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