Just Golden September 12, 2007
One more specialty from the quarry site in Marblehead. Yeah, I can't help myself as Marblehead is pretty special to me :)
This goldenrod is a favorite of several of my prairie-fanatic friends. Some people like football teams or the horses, but my pals get turned on by rare plants. Stiff Goldenrod, Oligoneuron rigidum is known in about 20 of Ohio's counties. It has a rather "stiff" straight stem with large leaves at the base working up to numerous small tab-like leaves towards the flower heads. The leaves have a dense hair on both sides, and the flowers are rather large, flat-topped clusters. This one has a look all of its own. Once you get tuned into it, it will aways stand out from the floristic crowd.
This is another member of the Asteraceae family, and it used to be called Solidago. Many in this family have had taxonomic name updates. Numerous asters have become Symphotrichum, including the New England aster, Symphotrichum novae-angliae which I incorrectly posted a while back. One of my favorite web sources (as well as all of my field guides) have the old names. So be aware, but be prepaid to explain yourself to friends and family if you use the new moniker. Who thought being a weed-picker could get so complicated? :)