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For Your Garden - December 2020

Native plants provide beauty as well as food and shelter for wildlife. Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and most diseases. Because they are perennials, you can welcome their presence year after year.

field goldenrod (Solidago nemoralis)
Photo © John Hilty

Field goldenrod is also known as gray goldenrod and old‐field goldenrod. Its gray‐green leaves are covered with fine, hairlike structures. Tiny leaflets are present in the axils of the leaves. The gray stem is densely covered with fine hairs. Both ray flowers (five to nine) and disk flowers are present in the yellow flower head. Many flowers are clustered on a stalk at the stem tip. Flowers tend to be present only on one side of the stalk. Field goldenrod may grow one and one‐half to three feet tall and is found statewide in Illinois. It grows in dry prairies, open woods, sandy soil, old pastures and fields. Flowers are produced from July through November. Many pollinators visit this species.

Classification and taxonomy are based on Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 2014. Vascular flora of Illinois: A field guide. Fourth edition. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale. 536 pp.

Illinois Range

Native Plant Information

For more information about Illinois native plants, visit our Native Habitat Descriptions, Requirements, and Plant Lists page. The following publications are available from the IDNR on our publications page.


Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae

Illinois Status: common, native