Flora of the Southeastern United States
2022 Edition

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Key B: goldenrods with basally disposed leaves and elongate, cylindrical inflorescences
(section Solidago, subsections Glomeruliflorae, Humiles, Maritimae, Squarrosae)

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1 Basal and lower stem leaves with blades truncate to cordate to a winged petiole; heads discoid (lacking ray flowers); [GA and FL Panhandle west through AL and MS to w. LA]; [subgenus Solidago, section Brintonia]
1 Basal and lower stem leaves sessle, or with blades cuneate to the petiole; heads radiate (with 1-16 disc flowers); [collectively widespread].
..2 Heads very large, involucre 8-13 mm high; fresh leaves noticeably thick and rubbery in texture; [subgenus Pleiactila, subsection Glomeruliflorae]; [high elevations of NC and TN]
..2 Heads smaller, involucre < 8 mm high (or 6-12 mm high in Solidago arenicola); fresh leaves not thick or rubbery in texture; [collectively widespread].
....3 Phyllaries and often also vegetative parts with minute sticky glands (use at least 10× magnification); stem leaves petiolate; [subsection Humiles].
......4 Leaves, peduncles, and phyllaries copiously glandular; [Coastal Plain sandhills]
......4 Leaves, peduncles, and phyllaries slightly glandular; [rocky glades, cliffs, barrens, and river-scoured outcrops, primarily on mafic or calcareous rocks].
........5 Cypselas pubescent (even when mature) [e. TN and w. VA northward]
..........6 Lower stem leaves 7-15× as long as wide, (2.5-) 4.6-9.4 (-11.2) cm long, (2-) 3-9 (-17) mm wide, generally obscurely toothed; [rocky, flood-scoured riversides, from e. KY, e. TN, and n. VA northward]
..........6 Lower stem leaves 3-8× as long as wide, (4.2-) 6.2-11.3 (-15.9) cm long, (5-) 10-22 (-31) mm wide, generally sharply toothed; [cliffs and barrens, primarily over mafic rocks, from w. VA northward]
........5 Cypselas glabrous (even when young); [either rocky, flood-scoured riversides of n. AL, nw. GA, sc. NC , e. TN, and e. KY, or habitat uncertain, Piedmont of SC].
............7 Involucres 5-12 mm high; inflorescence with heads more loosely arrayed, with 1-6 heads on a typical 3 cm lateral branch; [n. AL, nw. GA, , e. TN, e. KY, wc. SC]
..............8 Heads 6-12 mm high; flowering Sep-Oct; [river scour, n. AL, nw. GA, , e. TN, and e. KY]
..............8 Heads 5-6 mm high; flowering May-Jun; [habitat uncertain, Piedmont SC]
............7 Involucres 3-5 mm high; inflorescence with heads more tightly congested, with 6-15 heads on a typical 3 cm lateral branch; [e. TN and cn. NC].
................9 Inflorescence axis and branches glabrous; basal leaves linear-lanceolate, up to 22 mm wide [known only from the Yadkin River in sc. NC]
................9 Inflorescence axis and branches densely pubescent with arching hairs; basal leaves lanceolate to ovate, up to 35 mm wide; [known only from the Hiawassee River in e. TN]
....3 Phyllaries and vegetative parts lacking minute sticky glands; stem leaves sessile.
..................10 Petioles of lower stem leaves sheathing the stems; [of bog and marsh habitats, growing in soils which are permanently or at least seasonally saturated]; [subsection Maritimae].
....................11 Basal leaves 0.7-8 cm wide; plants short, 4-10 (-15) dm tall, typically fairly stout; [Mountains and northward].
......................12 Ray flowers averaging 3; disc flowers averaging 8; heads 6-7 mm high; [seepage over sloping rock on granitic domes, of sw. NC, nw. SC, and ne. GA]
......................12 Ray flowers averaging 5; disc flowers averaging 6; heads 4-5 mm high; [peaty bogs and fens, w. NC and e. TN northward].
........................13 Inflorescence branches short, ascending; basal leaves 0.7-2.5 cm wide; [PA and WV northwards]
........................13 Inflorescence branches elongate and divergent; basal leaves 3-8 cm wide; [NC and TN northwards]
....................11 Basal leaves 0.2-2.5 (-5) cm wide; plants short to tall, 3-20 dm tall, typically very slender; [Coastal Plain and lower Piedmont and southward].
..........................14 Basal leaves 0.2-0.5 (-0.7) cm wide; [s. peninsular FL]
..........................14 Basal leaves 0.7-2.5 (-5) cm wide; [collectively more widespread].
............................15 Leaf margins smooth, entire; ray flowers 8-13 per head; disk flowers 14-25 per head; pappus (2.5-) 3.0-3.5 mm long; plants to 1 m tall
............................15 Leaf margins (of the basal leaves at least) scabrous-margined and/or serrate; ray flowers 2-7 per head; disk flowers 6-16 per head; pappus 2.2-4.5 (-5.0) mm long; plants to 2 m tall.
..............................16 Leaf margins (or the basal leaves at least) serrate and also scabrous.
................................17 Lower branches of inflorescence usually long, spreading, curved
................................17 Lower branches of inflorescence usually long, divergent in larger specimens
..............................16 Leaf margins (of the basal leaves at least) merely scabrous or smooth.
..................................18 Leaf margins scabrous (or at least tuberculate) throughout; panicle branches often spreading-erect with recurved-secund tips; pappus 2.2-4.0 mm long
..................................18 Leaf margins tending to become smooth on leaves of the upper stem; panicle branches usually stiffly erect; pappus 4.0-4.5 (-5.0) mm long
..................10 Petioles of lower stem leaves not sheathing the stems; [mesic or drier habitats]; [subsection Squarrosae].
....................................19 Phyllaries spreading or with squarrose tips
....................................19 Phyllaries appressed.
......................................20 Phyllaries sparsely to moderately finely stipitate-glandular; [outer Coastal Plain of se. NC]
......................................20 Phyllaries and peduncular bracts not glandular; [collectively widespread].
........................................21 Phyllaries linear-lanceolate, attenuate, tapering to a pointed or minutely rounded tip.
..........................................22 Stems glabrous below and to the mid-stem; rays mostly 6-9; inner phyllaries usually striate with 2 prominent secondary veins
............................................23 Ray laminae averaging about 4.1 mm long; [outer Coastal Plain, GA]
............................................23 Ray laminae averaging about 1.9 mm long; [Appalachian or adjacent, PA to n. GA]
..........................................22 Stems finely hairy throughout with minute strigillose hairs; rays mostly 9-16; inner phyllaries not striate.
..............................................24 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]
..............................................24 Leaves (20-) 50-120 per stem; midstem leaves usually 1-4 cm long; phyllaries acute to acuminate; [Coastal Plain from DE southward]
........................................21 Phyllaries ovate to lanceolate, acute to obtuse or rounded.
................................................25 Rays white
................................................25 Rays yellow (may turn pale yellow with age).
..................................................26 Involucres (6-) avg. 7.2 (-9.5) mm high
..................................................26 Involucres 3.5-6.5 mm high.
....................................................27 Leaves and stems sparsely to densely hairy with spreading to appressed hairs
....................................................27 Leaves and upper stems glabrous.
......................................................28 Inflorescence either very narrowly thyrsiform and often interrupted or branches well spaced; mid-stem leaves 0.5-2.0 cm wide; [MA to se. IN, south to GA and MI, mostly avoiding the Coastal Plain southward]
......................................................28 Inflorescence usually denser, broader, and crowded, sometimes more open in robust plants, or narrow in plants outside range of S. erecta; mid-stem leaves often > 2.0 cm wide; [MA to GA, west to SD and scattered south in CO to ne. NM].
........................................................29 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
........................................................29 Mid-stem leaves usually > 2 cm wide; basal leaves (2.0-) 3.0-5.5 cm wide, coarsely serrate, present at flowering