Rocky Mountain goldenrod
Solidago multiradiata

Alaska Wildflowers | Yellow

The yellow-flowering heads of rocky mountain goldenrod (Solidago multiradiata)

Rocky Mountain goldenrod

Solidago multiradiata

Common Names

alpine goldenrod
arctic goldenrod
manyray goldenrod
mountain goldenrod
multi-rayed goldenrod
northern goldenrod
Rocky Mountain goldenrod
verge d’or à rayons nombreux

Synonyms

Aster multiradiatus
Solidago algida
Solidago ciliosa
Solidago cusickii
Solidago dilatata
Solidago heterophylla
Solidago multiradiata var. multiradiata
Solidago multiradiata var. arctica
Solidago multiradiata var. parviceps
Solidago multiradiata var. scopulorum
Solidago rubra
Solidago scopulorum
Solidago virgaurea var. arctica
Solidago virgaurea var. multiradiata

Subspecies

none

Genus: Solidago
Family: Asteraceae
Order: Asterales
taxonomic heirarchy

Duration – Growth Habit

Perennial – forb/herb



Identification and Information

Solidago multiradiata, commonly known as Rocky Mountain goldenrod or northern goldenrod, is a medium-sized perennial herb growing from a taproot and caudex with a woody, branching rhizome or stem-base. Underground stems are vertical or absent. The plant is 10-30 cm tall, sometimes reaching up to 80 cm. The aerial stems are decumbent to erect. It has both basal and cauline leaves, which have ciliate margins and are non-persistent, shedding annually. Basal leaves are linear-oblanceolate, spoon-shaped and petiolate, displaying either entire or toothed margins, while cauline leaves become progressively smaller and less petiolate as they ascend the stem, with the uppermost leaves entirely lacking petioles and the leaf apexes tapering to points or becoming less rounded towards the top of the flowering stem.

The plant’s inflorescence bears between 4 to 75 or even up to 100 flowering heads arranged in compact, dome-shaped corymbiform arrays. Peduncles are 5-6 mm long. Involucral bracts are in two rows, 4-8 mm long. The outermost phyllaries are linear-lanceolate, while the innermost are larger and lanceolate. The flowers are radially symmetric with both ray and disc florets, both yellow, although the disc florets are darker, turning brownish. The flower has 12-18 ray florets and 10-35 disc florets. It has 5 stamens and ovary inferior. The style is 5.5-6 mm long. The fruits are a hairy achene with a single seed.


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Uses

For information only (typically historical) – I take no responsibility for adverse effects from the use of any plant.

Specific information on the uses of Solidago multiradiata is scarce; however, the Solidago genus, to which S. multiradiata belongs and is notably widespread in Alaska according to Schofield’s Alaska’s Wild Plants, is known for its various applications.

S. multiradiata is listed as being used as a tonic by the Cree of Hudson Bay, but no specifics are given.

The flowers of the Solidago genus can be used to make tea or infused with apple cider or rice vinegar and then strained to make tonic herb vinegar. Teas are said to reduce inflammation or prevent kidney stones. The leaves are mashed to create a poultice used on insect bites, stings, and eczema. It’s used as a steambath to relieve muscle cramps [Schofield].


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Distribution and Habitat

Solidago multiradiata is fairly prolific in North America, covering Alaska, most of Canada, and the western United States from the Rockies to the Pacific. It’s also found in far eastern Siberia, primarily Kamchatka, and some of the northernmost islands of Japan.

Its habitat extends through a wide range of elevations, growing mostly in well-drained to moist gravelly or rocky soils. It can frequently be found in tundra, ridges, dry meadows, and roadsides.

Classification

RankScientific Name (Common Name)
KingdomPlantae (plantes, Planta, Vegetal, plants)
   SubkingdomViridiplantae (green plants)
      InfrakingdomStreptophyta (land plants)
         SuperdivisionEmbryophyta 
            DivisionTracheophyta (vascular plants, tracheophytes)
               SubdivisionSpermatophytina (spermatophytes, seed plants, phanérogames)
                  ClassMagnoliopsida 
                     SuperorderAsteranae 
                        OrderAsterales 
                           FamilyAsteraceae (sunflowers, tournesols)
                              GenusSolidago L. (goldenrod, verges d’or)
                                 SpeciesSolidago multiradiata Aiton (Rocky Mountain goldenrod, manyray goldenrod, arctic goldenrod, mountain goldenrod)

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References and Further Reading

Guidebook

Pratt, V. E. (1989). Field Guide to Alaskan Wildflowers: Commonly Seen Along Highways and Byways (p. 41). Alaskakrafts, inc.

Johnson, D., Kershaw, L., & MacKinnon, A. (2020). Plants of the Western Forest: Alaska to Minnesota Boreal and Aspen Parkland (3rd ed., p. 191). Partners Publishing. ISBN 978-1772130591.

Brandenburg, D. M. 2010. National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Wildflowers of North America. Sterling Publishing. (p. 135)

Classification and Taxonomy

Integrated Taxonomic Information System. (n.d.). Solidago multiradiata. Retrieved April 2, 2024, from https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=36279#null

United States Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Solidago multiradiata. Retrieved April 2, 2024, from https://plants.usda.gov/home/plantProfile?symbol=SOMU

Brouillet, L. (n.d.). Solidago multiradiata Aiton. VASCAN, the Database of Vascular Plants of Canada. Retrieved April 2, 2024, from https://data.canadensys.net/vascan/taxon/3462?lang=en

Uses

Native American Ethnobotany Database. (n.d.). Solidago multiradiata. Retrieved April 2, 2024, from http://naeb.brit.org/uses/species/3738/

Schofield, J. 2020. Alaska’s Wild Plants: A Guide to Alaska’s Edible Harvest (Revised Edition) (pp. 136-137). Alaska Northwest Books.

Map and Distribution

GBIF. (n.d.). Solidago multiradiata. Retrieved April 2, 2024, from https://www.gbif.org/species/5389132

Plants of the World Online. (n.d.). Solidago multiradiata Aiton. Retrieved April 2, 2024, from https://powo.science.kew.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:249726-1

NatureServe. (n.d.). Solidago multiradiata. NatureServe Explorer. Retrieved April 2, 2024, from https://explorer.natureserve.org/Taxon/ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.639864/Solidago_multiradiata

Description and Information

Flora of North America. (n.d.). Solidago multiradiata Aiton. Retrieved April 2, 2024, from http://floranorthamerica.org/Solidago_multiradiata

E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia. (n.d.). Solidago multiradiata Aiton. Retrieved April 2, 2024, from https://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/Atlas/Atlas.aspx?sciname=Solidago%20multiradiata&redblue=Both&lifeform=7

Canadian Museum of Nature. (n.d.). Solidago multiradiata. Retrieved April 2, 2024, from https://nature.ca/aaflora/data/www/assomu.htm

University of Alaska Fairbanks. (n.d.). Solidago multiradiata. Alaska’s Ecology. Retrieved April 2, 2024, from https://ecologicalatlas.uaf.edu/index.php/browse-plant-species/atlas-page/?nps_id=1890

 

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