Types of Goldenrod: There’s Lots Of Types

There are so many cultivars of goldenrod spread around the world. There are several native species of goldenrod here in America, and several types of goldenrod which are actually considered to be invasive.

No matter what you think of these beautiful plants, they certainly make an impact on a dull garden.

Goldenrods are recognizable by their gorgeous yellow blooms or golden flowers. These golden blooms are an excellent nectar source for butterflies and other insects, which can make them a wonderfully beneficial addition to your garden.

Seeing as there are so many types of goldenrod to choose from, we decided to put together a list of the best goldenrod garden plants that you can introduce into your very own garden space.

So let’s take a look at the wide range of goldenrod species that are available to bring some beautiful yellow flower heads into your garden!

types of goldenrod

Best Non-Invasive Species Of Goldenrod

We all know how tricky it is to keep on top of constant plant management to prevent a certain species from completely overtaking your garden.

So we’ve made a list of the best non-invasive species of goldenrod to get you started! No matter how long you leave the below goldenrod species to grow in your garden, you can rest assured they won’t take over completely.

Let’s take a look at the best non-invasive species of goldenrod!

Solidago Goldkind – Golden Baby Goldenrod

Solidago goldkind - Golden baby goldenrod

The golden baby goldenrod variety is arguably one of the most stunning cultivars that can be found in the world. This features lots of clusters of yellow flowers, which appear similar to a buddleia in the way that they congregate on the stems.

These dense plumes are absolutely striking, and are sure to make a statement in your flowerbed.

The golden baby goldenrod variety will typically start to flower around the mid summer months, so you will be able to enjoy the literal personification of sunshine in your garden.

Unlike other varieties of goldenrod that need well draining soil, the golden baby variety needs wet soil.

Solidago Odora – Sweet Goldenrod

Solidago Odora - Sweet Goldenrod

Sweet goldenrod, or anise-scented goldenrod as it can also be known, gets its name from its remarkable scent. This appears almost like licorice or anise. Thanks to this unusual aroma, sweet goldenrod has often been used to add additional anise flavor to medicines and drinks.

This is one of the easier varieties of goldenrod to control in your garden. The beautiful yellow blooms are fairly well-behaved without too much spreading, and tend to gather in regular clumps.

It will be best to plant your sweet goldenrod in areas that give you either partial shade or full sunlight, with well draining soil. It will grow to around 2 to 4 feet in height.

Solidago Sp – Wichita Mountain Goldenrod

Solidago Sp - Wichita Mountain Goldenrod

This striking variety of goldenrod is recognizable from those remarkable torch-like flowers, spreading upwards like delicate yellow flames. The yellow flowers grow along the top length of the stem, with the plant itself reaching between 2 and 3 feet in height.

If you live in a particularly arid area or hot climate, then this will be the goldenrod variety to opt for. Wichita mountain goldenrod is very drought tolerant and heat-resistant, so can bounce back fairly quickly.

Wichita mountain goldenrod tends to thrive best in full sunlight, and will need to be planted in well draining soil. Blooms will tend to appear between the late summer and early fall months.

Solidago Speciosa – Showy Goldenrod

Solidago Speciosa - Showy Goldenrod

Showy goldenrod really takes its name seriously. This variety of goldenrod features straight, lengthy stems, which then has beautiful yellow flowers spreading out like delicate spikes.

Because the showy goldenrod variety tends to be a late bloomer, this makes it an excellent source of nectar for bees, butterflies, and a whole range of other insects. This makes it important to the ecosystem in your garden.

Your showy goldenrod will enjoy full sunlight, well draining soil, and typically starts to bloom between the late summer months and early fall months.

Solidago Caesia – Blue Stemmed Goldenrod

Solidago Caesia - Blue Stemmed Goldenrod

One of the best species of goldenrod to opt for in your garden is of course the blue stemmed goldenrod. This variety of goldenrod will pretty much stick to the borders that you plant it in, so you won’t have to worry about it overtaking your garden.

The blue stemmed goldenrod variety is recognizable from its yellow flowers growing along beautifully arching stems. It can grow up to 2 to 3 feet in height.

Blue stemmed goldenrod will need to be planted in areas of either partial shade or full sunlight. Unlike other varieties of goldenrod, it will need to be planted in either clay or sandy soils which are able to maintain a good level of moisture.

Best Invasive Species Of Goldenrod

Even though these yellow flowers are a beautiful sight to have in your garden, it’s important to remember that the below varieties are considered to be invasive. Some of these are less aggressive than others, so with a little management you can keep them under control.

Let’s take a look at the best invasive species of goldenrod!

Solidago Flexicaulis – Zigzag Goldenrod

Solidago Flexicaulis - Zigzag Goldenrod

This particular goldenrod species is recognizable in your flowerbed from its striking stems. These are naturally arranged in a zigzagging pattern, which is of course where this cultivar gets its name from.

These stems are covered in bright yellow flowers which typically bloom between the late summer months and the early fall months. It can reach a height of between 1 and 3 feet.

Zigzag goldenrod tends to thrive best when it is planted in an area that has partial shade to protect it from extreme sunlight. The soil should be able to drain an average amount for the plant to stay happy.

Solidago Sempervirens – Seaside Goldenrod

Solidago Sempervirens - Seaside Goldenrod

It’ll be hard to miss the yellow flowers of the seaside goldenrod! Unlike other varieties of goldenrod, the seaside goldenrod tends to feature lots of yellow flowers on top of slender, tall stems. There are lots of tiny clusters which can be found on stalks reaching heights of between 2 and 8 feet.

Of course, the seaside goldenrod gets its name from the environment where it has been known to thrive. You are most likely to spot the seaside goldenrod variety along coastal regions, marshy areas, or sandy environments.

This particular variety of goldenrod tends to thrive in full sunlight, and likes well draining soil.

Solidago Sphacelata – Golden Fleece Goldenrod

Solidago Sphacelata - Golden Fleece Goldenrod

One of the more stunning varieties of goldenrod, the golden fleece goldenrod is recognizable from those beautiful dense blooms mimicking a bouquet. The yellow flowers collect along the length of the stem in a delicate drape. Your golden fleece goldenrod will bloom between early fall and late summer.

This is one of the smaller varieties of goldenrod, reaching a height of between 1 and 3 feet. It is a slow spreading variety of goldenrod, and can be more easily controlled in the garden. Make sure to deadhead any spent blooms to prevent the seeds from being spread to other areas of the garden.

Golden fleece goldenrod can also be known by the name dwarf goldenrod. It enjoys both partial shade and full sunlight, and is best planted in well draining soil.

Oligoneuron Rigidum – Stiff Goldenrod

Oligoneuron Rigidum - Stiff Goldenrod

Whereas other varieties of goldenrod are recognizable from delicate draping blooms and beautiful arching stems, the stiff goldenrod is in a league of its own.

Stiff goldenrod features stiff, upright stems, with beautiful yellow flowers adorning the crown of the stem in clusters. This is of course where the goldenrod variety gets its name from!

You will find that your stiff goldenrod tends to grow to around 4 feet in height. It will thrive in full sunlight, and it is pretty well suited to virtually any type of soil you plant it in.

Solidago Uliginosa – Bog Goldenrod

Solidago Uliginosa - Bog Goldenrod

Delicate yellow flowers adorn the top of wand-like stems with the bog goldenrod variety. These tend to stay close to the top of the stem, and usually bloom between the early fall and late summer months.

Now it may seem to go against the gardening grain to leave a plant in soggy soil, but the bog goldenrod can’t get enough of the stuff. It absolutely despises dry soil, and prefers to stay in constant wet soil. Which is of course where it gets its name “bog” from!

This means your bog goldenrod will be best placed next to a source of water, such as a water feature, pond, or lake.

Solidago bicolorWhite Goldenrod

Solidago bicolor – White Goldenrod

Perhaps one of the more unusual varieties of goldenrod, white goldenrod makes itself unique from other species of goldenrod because of its white flowers. Because of these white flowers, white goldenrod can also be known by the name silver goldenrod.

These white flowers typically appear in small clusters along the stem, with stalks reaching between 1 and 3 feet in height.

These white flowers can sometimes appear yellow, just like other varieties of goldenrod, however, this is actually the hue of the central stamens.

White goldenrod is one of the more tolerant cultivars when it comes to drought. It can also thrive in virtually any type of light situation, so you can choose to plant it either in shade or full sunlight.

Solidago Rugosa – Fireworks Goldenrod

Solidago Rugosa - Fireworks Goldenrod

A startling variety of goldenrod, the fireworks goldenrod is recognizable from the delicate yellow flowers that adorn arch like stems. These flowers will grow in all directions, which of course creates the impression of a beautiful exploding firework in the night sky.

This striking goldenrod species can grow up to an impressive height of between 3 and 6 feet. It is considered to be one of the more invasive species of goldenrod, so you will need to monitor it in your garden to prevent it from taking over completely.

Fireworks goldenrod enjoys virtually any type of soil, and needs to be planted in either partial shade or full sunlight. You will only need to give it water in times of drought.

In Summary

And there you have it! You now know the names of a whopping 12 different species of goldenrod. There are many more cultivars that are classified under the goldenrod genus, but the ones that we have covered in more detail above are by far the most popular.

If you plan on introducing any of the species of goldenrod that we have highlighted in more detail above, make sure to check whether they are a native species or an invasive species.

If you have chosen an invasive species to plant in your garden, then you will need to monitor it so that it doesn’t completely take over your flowerbeds.

Whichever native goldenrod species that you opt for, the insects will be sure to thank you. The goldenrod blooms are an excellent nectar source, which makes them an attractive source for butterflies, bees, and lots of other pollen loving insects.

These yellow blooms are not only going to make your garden very pretty, they are also going to be a constant source of pollen grains for precious insects which can then pollinate the rest of your garden.

Morgan Daniels

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