Native Plant of the Week: Blue-Stemmed Goldenrod ~ Solidago caesia

Blue Stemmed Goldenrod ~ Solidago caesia (Wreath Goldenrod)

This Goldenrod species is another really late season bloomer. In full bloom right now in my landscape, it's a nice bright spot in the shaded woodland.

Named for its light blue-gray stems, this native perennial likes shady, medium to dry locations. It's a great native to introduce under large trees in tough to grow sites. Its clump forming growth habit also makes it ideal for massing. Reaching anywhere between 1 and 3 feet in height, it can be utilized interspersed with early flowering natives, or bordering a woodland edge.

The only insect activity I've seen when it's flowering is ants. Since we've had many hard frosts, there are fewer pollinators about.

In mid to late August you may find Brown Hooded Owlet Moth (Cucullia convexipennis) caterpillars feeding on the foliage. This and Zigzag Goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis) seem to be the preferred host plants of this caterpillar in my landscape.

Blue-Stemmed Goldenrod is native to eastern North America. See map below for range.
Kartesz, J.T., The Biota of North America Program (BONAP).
North American Plant Atlas. Chapel Hill, N.C.