Solidago nemoralis (grey goldenrod)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Plant Type
- Distribution Table
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Biology and Ecology
- Rainfall Regime
- Soil Tolerances
- Natural enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Pathway Causes
- Pathway Vectors
- Impact Summary
- Economic Impact
- Environmental Impact
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Uses List
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Links to Websites
- Distribution Maps
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IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Solidago nemoralis Aiton, 1789
Preferred Common Name
- grey goldenrod
International Common Names
- English: gray goldenrod (USA)
- French: verge d’or des bois
Local Common Names
- : common gray-stemmed goldenrod; compass goldenrod; dwarf goldenrod; Dyer’s weed; field goldenrod; gray (-stemmed) goldenrod; showy goldenrod; wild quinine
- SOONE (Solidago nemoralis)
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
S.nemoralis is absent in European vegetation, but considering its characteristics (high seed production, rapid seed spread and vegetative spread), which are very similar to the naturalized invasives Solidago canadensis and Solidago gigantea, this species can be considered as a potential invasive species (EPPO, 2009). The Plant Collections Network of Britain and Ireland developed a database on invasive and potentially invasive alien plants in European Botanic Gardens. The freely available data base comprises 32 European national lists with 622 species. According to this database S. nemoralis has not yet occurred in European botanical gardens.
In Switzerland the handling of alien plants and animals is regulated to stop the displacement of indigenous species. The Swiss list S. nemoralis as a potential invasive species (DETEC, 2009).
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Dicotyledonae
- Order: Asterales
- Family: Asteraceae
- Genus: Solidago
- Species: Solidago nemoralis
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
Solidago nemoralis was described and published in Hort. Kew. (3: 213) in 1789 by William Aiton. Two intraspecific variations were determined – Solidago nemoralis Aiton ssp. nemoralis and Solidago nemoralis ssp. decemflora (DC.) Brammall (Semple, 1985; Chmielewski and Semple, 2004).
DescriptionTop of page
S. nemoralis is a polycarpic hemi-cryptophyte (Walck et al., 1997a), that reproduces vegetatively from branched caudices (short, thick, vertical underground stems) (Gibson, 1961). Stems are erect from the short-branched caudex, 20-100 cm tall, are solitary to many (2-10), and densely covered by short, ascending, appressed hairs. Basal rosette and lower stem leaves are 2.0-9.5 cm long, 0.7-1.5 cm wide, spathulate-ovate to oblanceolate, acute, tapering to a long winged petiole. Leaf margins are entire or with rounded teeth. Both leaf surfaces are densely covered in minute, fine, short hairs. Upper stem leaves are reduced upwards, 1.6-4.5 cm long, 0.3-0.7 cm wide, becoming linear-oblanceolate, sessile, entire sometimes subtending axillary tufts of lateral branch leaves, with both surfaces densely covered in minute, fine, short hairs. The inflorescence is paniculiform, wand-shaped pyramidal, secund (on one side of the stem or branch, leaning to one side) to apically recurved, sometimes the lower inflorescence branches are elongated and repeating the pattern.
In S. nemoralis spp. decemflora the pappus bristles generally do exceed the ray floret corolla tube and the base of the disc corolla lobes; disc corolla lobes are (0.6)0.8-1.5 mm long; the flowering heads are mostly greater than 4.6 mm high; mature achenes are moderately covered with stiff, sharp, appressed hairs; basal leaves are usually not with rounded teeth about the margins (Semple et al., 1990; Chmielewski and Semple, 2004). A third race, southern in distribution (var. haleana), is described as having an inflorescence branching that is more open and elm-like than considered typical. Because insect damage may alter the appearance of an inflorescence, and not all shoots of an individual plant may have the same inflorescence trait, margins Semple et al. (1990) chose to treat the third race as a form rather than a subspecies (Chmielewski and Semple, 2004).
Plant TypeTop of page Perennial
DistributionTop of page
S. nemoralis is native to North America (Walck et al., 1997a). It occurs from Nova Scotia in the northeast, westward to British Columbia and southward to Florida and Texas (Scoggan, 1979). S. nemoralis ssp. nemoralis occurs throughout the eastern deciduous forest region of North America (i.e. Appalachian and Atlantic-Gulf Coastal Plain Floristic Provinces (Cronquist, 1982). S. nemoralis ssp. decemflora typically occurs on the prairies (North American Prairies Floristic Province (Cronquist, 1982)) and sometimes at elevations of the Rocky Mountains from New Mexico to British Columbia (Semple et al., 1990). S. nemoralis ssp. decemflora is rare in Ontario and British Columbia and threatened in Colorado (Brunton and Semple, 1987; Chmielewski and Semple, 2004).
According to Clement and Foster (1994)S. nemoralis was recorded form Bromley (West Kent) in Great Britain (Burton, 1983).
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 23 Apr 2020
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
As it is similar to other invasive Solidago species in Europe and other parts of the world, S. nemoralis can be considered as a potential invasive species in natural and semi-natural environments. It is advertised for landscaping purposes in Europe, and hence was added to the EPPO Watch List in 2004 to 2012, after which it was transferred to the Observation List.
HabitatTop of page
S. nemoralis typically occurs on dry, sandy, or gravelly, sterile soil (Messina, 1983; Rhoads and Klein, 1993). It has been found in one through to 60-year-old fields on the New Jersey, Piedmont (Bard, 1952; Chmielewski and Semple, 2004).
Habitat ListTop of page
|Terrestrial – Managed||Cultivated / agricultural land||Principal habitat||Natural|
|Managed forests, plantations and orchards||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Natural|
|Managed grasslands (grazing systems)||Principal habitat||Natural|
|Disturbed areas||Principal habitat||Natural|
|Rail / roadsides||Principal habitat||Natural|
|Urban / peri-urban areas||Principal habitat||Natural|
|Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-natural||Natural forests||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Natural grasslands||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Lakes||Present, no further details||Natural|
|Rivers / streams||Present, no further details||Natural|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
In central Ontario the species was reported from dry, sparsely vegetated and barren areas that were acidic (pH 5.5) and low in calcium (500 ppm) and from prairie openings which had 0.1-0.25 m of dark-brown humus rich sand (pH of 6.6-7.4 and calcium levels from 1600-3300 ppm).
ClimateTop of page
|Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year||Preferred||Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year|
|Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer||Preferred||Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers|
|Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter||Preferred||Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)|
Rainfall RegimeTop of page Bimodal
Soil TolerancesTop of page
Special soil tolerances
Natural enemiesTop of page
|Natural enemy||Type||Life stages||Specificity||References||Biological control in||Biological control on|
|Coleosporium asterum||Pathogen||Ginns, 1986|
|Dactynotus caligatus||Herbivore||Pielou, 1972; Richards, 1972|
|Dactynotus canadensis||Herbivore||Anderson and Schelfhout, 1980; Pielou, 1972; Richards, 1972|
|Dactynotus gravicornis||Herbivore||Pielou, 1972; Richards, 1972|
|Dactynotus nigrotibius||Herbivore||Pielou, 1972; Richards, 1972|
|Dactynotus nigrotuberculatus||Herbivore||Pielou, 1972; Richards, 1972|
|Epicauta pensylvanica||Herbivore||Gross and Werner, 1983|
|Melanoplus femurrubrum||Herbivore||Ritchie and Tilman, 2003|
|Phoetaliotes nebrascensis||Herbivore||Ritchie and Tilman, 2003|
|Spharagemon collare||Herbivore||Ritchie and Tilman, 2003|
|Uroleucon cadens||Herbivore||Moran, 1984b|
|Uroleucon nigrotibium||Herbivore||Moran, 1984a; Moran, 1984b; Moran, 1986|
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page
Seeds are easily dispersed by wind, but during dry weather conditions only.
Pathway CausesTop of page
Pathway VectorsTop of page
Impact SummaryTop of page
Economic ImpactTop of page
S. nemoralis is weedy in Canada and the United States (Darbyshire et al., 2000; Chmielewski and Semple, 2004). A nuisance value (derived from sites occupied and abundance) of 125 was reported for the species from populations sampled in Ontario, Québec, and Maine (Dale et al., 1965). Various species of goldenrod, including S. nemoralis, possess similar medicinal properties when used in conjunction with appropriate antibiotics. S. nemoralis is a source of nectar for adult butterflies and honeybees (Chmielewski and Semple, 2004).
Environmental ImpactTop of page
Large-scale infested areas of S. nemoralis are a result of the inappropriate management of grasslands and old fields. S. nemoralis competes with native flora and vertebrate fauna, reducing grass and other low-growing plants. Monodominated communities cause a decrease in field diversity.
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page Invasiveness
- Has a broad native range
- Abundant in its native range
- Highly adaptable to different environments
- Pioneering in disturbed areas
- Highly mobile locally
- Fast growing
- Has high reproductive potential
- Reproduces asexually
- Has high genetic variability
- Changed gene pool/ selective loss of genotypes
- Damaged ecosystem services
- Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
- Host damage
- Infrastructure damage
- Modification of nutrient regime
- Modification of successional patterns
- Monoculture formation
- Negatively impacts agriculture
- Negatively impacts cultural/traditional practices
- Negatively impacts forestry
- Negatively impacts tourism
- Reduced amenity values
- Reduced native biodiversity
- Soil accretion
- Threat to/ loss of endangered species
- Threat to/ loss of native species
- Negatively impacts animal/plant collections
- Damages animal/plant products
- Competition - monopolizing resources
- Competition - shading
- Competition - smothering
- Competition - strangling
- Competition (unspecified)
- Pest and disease transmission
- Interaction with other invasive species
- Rapid growth
- Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
- Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
Uses ListTop of page
- Commercial pollinator
- Botanical garden/zoo
- Source of medicine/pharmaceutical
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
S. nemoralis ssp. decemflora may be similar to the subspecies S. velutina ssp. californica and S. velutina ssp. sparsiflora. S. nemoralis differs form S. velutina in that S. nemoralis has short rhizomes, whereas S. velutina possesses creeping rhizomes (Chmielewski and Semple, 2004). S. nemoralis is shorter than S. canadensis, S. gigantea and S. altissima, which are generally up to 5 ft tall while S. nemoralis is usually less than 3 ft tall. S. gigantea has smooth (hairless) stems below the inflorescence. S. canadensis has hairy stems below the inflorescence but the hairs diminish and disappear further down the stem.
S. speciosa and S. nemaralis have leaves that are largest at the bottom and are progressively smaller moving up the stem. Beneath the inflorescence, S. speciosa is smooth stemmed while S. nemoralis has pubescent stems.
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.
Repeated mowing for at least 2 years effectively controlled S. nemoralis on Missouri pasture land. Further, the timing of mowing had little effect on the degree of control. Although annual mowing, early in the season, for two consecutive years also significantly reduced stands of S. nemoralis, this control method was not as consistently effective as was repeated mowing (Peters and Lowance, 1978). Based on field studies conducted in open (pioneered by annual species and short-lived perennials) and closed (90-100% cover of perennial pasture plants) communities in Québec, S. nemoralis demonstrated susceptibility to foliar applications of the water-soluble auxin herbicides 2,4-D, picloram, a combination of 2,4-D and picloram, and diuron (Tomkins and Grant, 1974). S. nemoralis was easily controlled in non-till plots in southern Illinois subjected to various applications of glyphosate (Kapusta and Krausz, 1993).
ReferencesTop of page
Beaudry JR, 1969. [English title not available]. (Études sur les Solidago L. Une triosième liste de nombres chromosomiques des taxons du genre Solidago et de certains genres voisins.) Nat. Can, 96:103-122.
Brunton D; Semple JC, 1987. Solidago nemoralis ssp. decemflora. National Museums of Ontario. In: Rare vascular plants of Ontario [ed. by Argus, G. W. \White, J.]. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: National Museums of Ontario. [National Museums of Canada publication.]
Darbyshire SJ; Favreau M; Murray M, 2000. Common and scientific names of weeds in Canada. Common and scientific names of weeds in Canada. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Agriculture and AgriFood Canada, 132 pp. [Publication 1397/B.]
DETEC, 2009. New regulations for the release of organisms. New regulations for the release of organisms. Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications. http://www.uvek.admin.ch/dokumentation/00474/00492/index.html?lang=en&msg-id=21266
EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. http://www.eppo.int/DATABASES/pqr/pqr.htm
Gross RS; Werner PA, 1983. Relationships among flowering phenology, insect visitors, and seed-set of individuals: experimental studies on four co-occurring species of goldenrod (Solidago: Compositae). Ecological Monographs, 53(1):95-117
Semple JC; Chmielewski JG; Brammall RA, 1990. A multivariate morphometric study of Solidago nemoralis (Compositae: Asteraceae) and comparison with S. californica and S. sparsiflora. Can J. Bot, 68:2070-2082.
Semple JC; Ringius GS; Leeder C; Morton G, 1984. Chromosome numbers of goldenrods, Euthamia and Solidago (Compositae:Asteraceae). Additional counts with comments on cytogeography. Brittonia, 36:280-292.
Walck JL; Baskin JM; Baskin CC, 1997. A comparative study of the seed germination biology of a narrow endemic and two geographically-widespread species of Solidago (Asteraceae). 1. Germination phenology and effect of cold stratification on germination. Seed Science Research, 7(1):47-58; 61 ref.
Walck JL; Baskin JM; Baskin CC, 1997. A comparative study of the seed germination biology of a narrow endemic and two geographically-widespread species of Solidago (Asteraceae). 1. Germination responses of burried seeds in relation to seasonal temperature cycles. Seed Sci. Res, 7:20-220.
Walck JL; Baskin JM; Baskin CC, 1998. A comparative study of the seed germination biology of a narrow endemic and two geographically-widespread species of Solidago (Asteraceae). 6. Seed bank. Seed Science Research, 8(1):65-74.
Walck JL; Baskin JM; Baskin CC, 1999. Ecology of the endangered species Solidago shortii. VII. Survivorship and flowering, and comparison with common geographically-widespread Solidago species. Torrey Bot. Soc.
OrganizationsTop of page
France: EPPO European and Mediterranean Organization, OEPP/EPPO, 1 rue Le Nôtre, 75016 Paris, France, http://www.eppo.org
UK: PlantNetwork The Plant Collections Network of Britain & Ireland, University Computing Service, New Museums Site, Pembroke Street, Cambridge, CB2 3QH, http://www.plantnetwork.org
USA: USDA United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Public Affairs Division, P.O. Box 2890, Washington, DC 20013, http://www.nrcs.usda.gov
ContributorsTop of page
21/07/09 Original text by:
István Dancza, Central Service for Plant Protection and Soil Conservation, Budaösi ut 141-145118 Budapest, Hungary
Distribution MapsTop of page
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