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Keyed in multiple places:

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Key to Asteraceae, Key M: Herbaceous composites with the leaves alternate or basal and the heads radiate, the rays white, pink, purple, and with a pappus of bristles only

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1 Head 1 per plant (individual rosette); stems 0.1-0.3 dm tall; [TX and OK westwards]
1 Heads 5-300+ per (well-developed) plant; stems 0.3-35 dm tall; [collectively widespread].
..2 Stems with numerous thorns (1-2 cm long, modified axillary branches), and few or no leaves
..2 Stems leafy, not armed with thorns.
....3 Leaves pinnatifid to bipinnatifid; plant annual
....3 Leaves unlobed; plant perennial from caudices, crowns, or rhizomes.
......4 Annuals from taproots; ray florets 0.3-7 mm long.
........5 Ray laminae 0.3-1.0 mm long; cypselas 1.0-1.5 mm long, compressed, 1-nerved on each face
........5 Ray laminae 1.3-7 mm long; cypselas (1.2-) 1.5-2.7 (-3) mm long, compressed or not, 5-18-nerved.
..........6 Disc flowers 25-35 per head; ray flowers in 1 series
..........6 Disc flowers 4-10 (-13) per head; ray flowers in 1-3 series
......4 Perennials from caudices, crowns, or rhizomes; ray florets > 3 mm long.
............ 7 Basal and lower stem leaves petiolate, with blades cordate to rounded at the base
............ ..8 Heads borne in corymbiform arrays, the branches often subtended by large and leaf-like bracts; phyllaries < 2.5 (-3)× as long as wide, often > 1 mm wide; plants (in most species) colonial by rhizomes; rays (in most species) white; phyllaries (in many species) glandular
............ ..8 Heads borne in paniculiform arrays, the branches bearing small and narrow bracts; phyllaries > 3× as long as wide, often < 1 mm wide; plants (in most species) solitary; rays (in most species) blue, violet, or pink; phyllaries eglandular
............ 7 Basal and lower stem leaves sessile (sometimes cordate-clasping), or if petiolate then with cuneate to attenuate bases.
............ ....9 Rays pink, purple, lavender, blue, or pale pink [plants with pale pink rays may need to be keyed both ways].
............ ......10 Heads borne in paniculiform or in diffuse and irregular arrays
............ ......10 Heads borne either in flat-topped or rounded, corymbose arrays, or in narrow racemiform or spiciform panicles, or solitary.
............ ........11 Leaves 1.2-4.0 cm long, 1-4 mm wide, stiff, scabrous margined and weakly spine-tipped; plants 1-7 dm tall; pappus in 2 series, the inner much longer than the outer (ca. 1 mm long) bristles
............ ........11 Leaves either longer or broader or both, herbaceous; Leaves (5-) 13-45 mm wide, herbaceous, neither scabrous-margined nor spine-tipped; plants 4-30 dm tall; pappus not divided into distinct inner and outer series.
............ ..........12 Plants 10-35 dm tall; larger leaves (basal or low on the stem) with cuneate or attenuate bases, the blades 30-50 cm long; [non-native, rarely persistent or spreading from horticultural use]
............ ..........12 Plants 1-12 dm tall; larger leaves with blades 2-20 cm long; [natives, collectively widespread and common in our region]
............ ....9 Rays white (or very slightly pink-flushed).
............ ............ 13 Heads borne in paniculiform or in diffuse and irregular arrays
............ ............ 13 Heads borne either in flat-topped or rounded, corymbose arrays, or in narrow racemiform/spiciform panicles, or solitary.
............ ............ ..14 Heads arrayed in 1 (or more) cylindrical thyrses
............ ............ ..14 Heads borne in either narrow racemiform/spiciform panicles, or in corymbose arrays.
............ ............ ....15 Heads borne in corymbose arrays.
............ ............ ......16 Disc flowers yellow (and often fading to pink or purplish).
............ ............ ........17 Rays 2-7, the ray ligules 2-11 mm long, often twisted or contorted; phyllaries whitish with a distinct green tip, the green area about as wide as long
............ ............ ........17 Rays (8-) 9-40, the ray ligules 4-20 mm long, generally planar (or neatly coiling at post-maturity); phyllaries various.
............ ............ ..........18 Pappus double, with an outer set of bristles < 1 mm long; leaves entire
............ ............ ..........18 Pappus not divided into distinctively different outer and inner series; leaves toothed or entire.
............ ............ ............ 19 Achenes not glandular, either glabrous or strigillose

Key to Solidago, Key O: Key to "erect goldenrods" -- with basally disposed leaves and elongate, cylindrical inflorescences (subgenus Solidago, section Erectae]

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1 Phyllaries very narrow, ca. 0.5 (-0.75) mm wide, linear-lanceolate, very gradually tapering to a pointed or minutely rounded tip; [subgenus Solidago, section Erectae, series Puberulae].
..2 Stems glabrous below and to the mid-stem; rays mostly 6-9; inner phyllaries usually striate with 2 prominent secondary veins
..2 Stems finely hairy throughout with minute strigillose hairs; rays mostly 9-16; inner phyllaries not striate.
....3 Leaves 20-50 (-60) per stem; midstem leaves usually 4-5 cm long; phyllaries attenuate; [Mountains and Piedmont of GA northward, and Coastal Plain from VA northward]
....3 Leaves (20-) 50-120 per stem; midstem leaves usually 1-4 cm long; phyllaries acute to acuminate; [Coastal Plain from DE southward]
1 Phyllaries broader, (0.75-) 1.0-1.5 mm wide at mid-length, ovate to lanceolate, acute to obtuse or broadly rounded; [subgenus Solidago, section Erectae, series Erectae].
......4 Rays yellow (may turn pale yellow with age).
........5 Involucres (6-) avg. 7.2 (-9.5) mm high
........5 Involucres 3.5-6.5 mm high.
..........6 Leaves and stems sparsely to densely hairy with long, spreading (to less typically appressed) hairs
..........6 Leaves and upper stems glabrous or nearly so, the lower stems often somewhat hairy with short hairs (often feeling slightly scabrous).
............ 7 Inflorescence thyrsiform, very slender, usually linear in outline but sometimes with a few widely spaced elongate branches; cypsela bodies 2.2-3.0 mm long; ray flowers often pale yellow; [MA to se. IN, south to GA and MS, mostly avoiding the Coastal Plain southward]
............ 7 Inflorescence panicle-like, usually with several to many ascending branches and ovoid in outline; cypsela bodies 1.1-2.0 mm long; ray florets golden yellow; [MA to GA, west to SD and scattered south from CO to ne. NM].
............ ..8 Mid-stem leaves 0.4-1.5 (-2.0) cm wide; basal leaves 0.8-2.0 cm wide, entire or slightly serrate, present or absent at flowering
............ ..8 Mid-stem leaves usually > 2 cm wide; basal leaves (2.0-) 3.0-5.5 cm wide, coarsely serrate, present at flowering
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