Solidago velutina DC. ssp. californica (Nutt.) Semple

California Goldenrod
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

California goldenrod is a robust, erect herbaceous perennial from 8" to 4' tall.The stems and leaves are ashy-gray colored and densely downy.  The leaves are alternate, the lower oblanceolate to ovate, serrate, obtuse- to acute-tipped, and tapering to the base, and the upper much reduced, elliptic, entire and sessile. The inflorescence is long, mostly 1-sided, and somewhat pyramid-shaped.  The many flowering heads are radiate and contain 8-13 ray flowers and 4-12 disk flowers, all yellow.  The phyllaries are narrow-oblong to lance-linear, sharply acute to obtuse, and strigose.  The achenes are densely hispidulous and each has a pappus of many white, hairlike bristles.  This attractive species is found below 8000' in both dry and moist environments, in the open and in shaded woods, from coastal sage scrub to yellow pine forest, and in cleared or disturbed places. California goldenrod blooms from July to October.  The first three pictures were taken on the Upper Mt. Wilson Trail in the San Gabriels, and the third was taken in Blue Sky Ecological Reserve near San Diego.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Solidago 2) velutina 3) californica.
Pronunciation: sol-i-DAY-go vel-OO-tin-a ka-li-FOR-ni-ka.
Formerly Solidago californica.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.