E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Solidago simplex Kunth
spikelike goldenrod
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #70302)

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Distribution of Solidago simplex
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The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia previously recognized Solidago spathulata and its three varieties as present in BC. However, this species has been renamed to Solidago simplex. Two varieties are now recognized in BC: Solidago simplex var. simplex and Solidago simplex var. nana. The latter is the alpine and sub-alpine taxon.

Species Information

Perennial herb from a woody stem-base or short, stout rhizome; stems erect, solitary, branched, glabrous or sometimes rough-hairy above, usually sticky above, 5-80 cm tall.
Basal leaves oblanceolate to spoon-shaped or rounded, glabrous, toothed, stalked, 1.4-15 cm long including the stalk, 0.2-3 cm wide, mostly persistent; stem leaves similar below, progressively reduced, becoming linear and unstalked upwards.
Heads with ray and disk flowers, numerous in a spikelike, elongate inflorescence; involucres 4-6 mm tall; involucral bracts oblanceolate, evidently graduated, commonly blunt, glabrous; ray flowers yellow, 5-10, mostly 8, scarcely exceeding the 10-16 yellow disk flowers.
Achenes densely hairy; pappus of numerous white hairlike bristles.
Three often difficult to separate varieties occur in BC.

1. Plants 10-60 cm tall, very strongly resinous and aromatic, with a spikelike, usually elongate inflorescence, and mostly spoon-shaped or egg-shaped basal leaves........................ var. spathulata

1. Plants 5-80 cm tall, less strongly resinous and aromatic; leaves and inflorescence various.

2. Plants of the subalpine and alpine zones, 5-15 cm tall, with a short, compact inflorescence; basal leaves spoon-shaped or egg-shaped........................ var. nana (A. Gray) Cronq.

2. Plants of the lowland and montane zones, 15-80 cm tall, with a more spikelike, elongate inflorescence; basal leaves mostly oblanceolate........................ var. neomexicana (A. Gray) Cronq.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry meadows, rocky slopes and forests in all vegetation zones except the alpine zone; common throughout BC except the NW coast and Queen Charlotte Islands; N to AK, YT, and NT, E to PQ and NS, and S to VA, NM, AZ, and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Solidago simplex

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 100 1060 2490
Slope Gradient (%) 0 22 110
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 205 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(2), BAFA(6), BG(145), BWBS(50), ESSF(92), ICH(7), IDF(546), IMA(2), MS(106), PP(67), SBPS(186), SBS(73), SWB(22)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Solidago spathulata DC.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References