Solidago odora

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: sweet goldenrod
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Eastern and southeastern United States
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: August to September
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Herb, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Fragrant
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Clay Soil

Culture

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates poor, dry soils and light shade, but performs best in full sun. May be grown from seed and may self-seed in the garden. This species is primarily clump-forming and does not spread aggressively as do some of the other goldenrod species and hybrids.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Sweet goldenrod is easily identified by its anise-scented leaves. It is native to dry, sandy, open woods in the eastern U.S. In Missouri, it typically occurs in open woods, thickets, ravine slopes and bluff bases in the southeastern part of the state (Steyermark). Plants typically rise to 2-4’ tall on smooth or downy stems clad with dark green leaves (to 4” long) that are lance-shaped, sessile, parallel-veined, untoothed and marked with translucent dots. When bruised, its leaves smell like anise. Leaves may be used in teas. Branched, plume-like clusters of yellow, daisy-like flowers bloom in August-September. Flowers appear in rows on the upper sides (one-sided) of the plume branching. Foliage of this plant has been used in the past in herbal medicines for treatment of a variety of problems including wounds, ulcers, urinary disorders, flatulence and as a stimulant. Goldenrods are attractive to bees and butterflies. Goldenrods have been wrongfully accused of causing hay fever which is actually an allergic reaction to wind-borne pollen from other plants such as ragweed. This species is also commonly called anise-scented goldenrod or fragrant goldenrod.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Rust may occur. Watch for powdery mildew and leaf spot.

Garden Uses

Interesting goldenrod for native plant gardens. Also appropriate for borders, cottage gardens or butterfly gardens. May be grown in herb gardens.