Solidago lepida

From Puget Prairie Plants
  • Scientific Name: Solidago lepida
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Common Name: West Canadian goldenrod
  • Synonyms/Misapplications: Solidago canadensis
  • Codon: SOLLEP

Photo by Ben Legler, also featured on Main Page.


Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Viridiplantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Subphylum: Spermatophytina
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteranae
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Solidago L.
Species: Solidago lepida DC.
  • Solidago canadensis var. lepida (DC.) Cronquist
  • Solidago canadensis var. subserrata (DC.) Cronquist



Erect perennial, forms patches from long creeping rhizomes. Stems leafy and hairy near the top, basally reduced, with a dense cluster of small yellow flowers.

Height: Up to 5 feet (1.5 meters).

Leaves: Lacking well-developed basal leaves; stem leaves numerous and crowded, gradually reduced upwards; saw-toothed to entire; hairless to roughly hairy on upper and lower sides; leaves are prominently 3-veined.

.Flowers: Numerous flower heads in dense pyramidal cluster; ray flowers 10-17, 1-3 mm long; involucres 3-6mm x 3-5mm, long-pointed bracts that sometimes overlap, sometimes sticky and glandular.[2][3]
Solidago lepida seed. Photo by Lisa Hintz

Bloom Period



Widespread on both sides of the Cascades, Alaska to California, east to Rocky Mountains and eastern Canada.[3]


Ecological Setting

Fields, meadows, thickets, and shorelines, roadsides and disturbed sites; low to mid elevations.[3]

Soil Texture

Coarse, medium, or fine.

Soil Reaction / Salinity

pH, Minimum 4.8 pH, Maximum 7.5
No salinity tolerance

Shade Tolerance

Shade intolerant - mostly sunny 60%-80%



Birds: The seeds of goldenrod are eaten by numerous bird species.
Insects: The bright, showy flowers attract bumblebees and pine white, red admiral, and mylitta crescent butterflies. Syrphid flies and small wasps also frequently visit the goldenrod flowers.[4]

First Nations

Infusion of roots and flowers used for flank pains; Infusion of flowers taken as an emetic; Compound infusion of tubers given to babies that start suddenly during sleep; Compound decoction used as wash for child who does not talk or laugh; Infusion of flower heads taken for diarrhea; Infusion of shoots given to children with fevers; Decoction of flower heads taken for the flu; Infusion of blossoms used for special kinds of fevers; Infusion of plant used as a bath for the parent at childbirth; Decoction of plant used as a bath for babies with diarrhea, sleeplessness or excessive crying; Decoction of plant tops taken for diarrhea; Decoction of plant and wild tarragon used as a wash for horses with cuts and sores; Crushed blossoms chewed for sore throat; Infusion of crushed blossoms taken for body pain; Seeds used for food; Roots steeped or eaten; Roots smoked with other tobaccos.[5]

Gregory L. Tilford writes that the species within the Solidago genus may be used more or less interchangeably. He writes the greens can be eaten a cooked potherb, with variable palatibility, and the flowers make a nice sweetened tea. Dried leaves and flowers may be used as a styptic agent, and an infusion to reduce mucus production in the bronchi during a cold or flu. The tea is diuretic and regarded by him as a kidney tonic.[6]

Photo Gallery


  1. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved from
  2. 2.0 2.1 WTU Herbarium, Burke Museum, & University of Washington. Retrieved from
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Hitchcock, C. L., Cronquist, A., Giblin, D., & Legler, B. et al. (2018). Flora of the Pacific Northwest: an illustrated manual. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  4. Plants that Provide Seeds and Berries. (2018). Retrieved from
  5. Native American Ethnobotany Database. Retrieved from
  6. Tilford, G. L. (1999). Edible and medicinal plants of the west. Missoula, MT: Mountain Press Pub. Co.