Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Solidago canadensis


SPECIES: Solidago canadensis
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Coladonato, Milo. 1993. Solidago canadensis. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].
ABBREVIATION : SOLCAN SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : SOCA6 COMMON NAMES : Canada goldenrod TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for Canada goldenrod is Solidago canadensis L. [10]. Five varieties are recognized [10]: S. c. var. canadensis L. S. c. var. gilvocanescens Rydb. S. c, var. salebrosa (Piper) M. E. Jones S. c. var. scarbra T. & G. S. c. var. hargeri Fern. Taxonomy within the genus Solidago is complicated due to great intraspecific variation and geographic clines in characteristics [38]. LIFE FORM : Forb FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Solidago canadensis
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Canada goldenrod is widespread across North America. It occurs in almost every state and throughout Canada [4,16,34,37]. ECOSYSTEMS : Canada goldenrod occurs in most ecosystems. STATES : AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NH NJ NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY AB BC MB NB NF NT NS ON PE PQ SK YT BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 2 Cascade Mountains 4 Sierra Mountains 5 Columbia Plateau 6 Upper Basin and Range 7 Lower Basin and Range 8 Northern Rocky Mountains 9 Middle Rocky Mountains 10 Wyoming Basin 11 Southern Rocky Mountains 12 Colorado Plateau 13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont 14 Great Plains 15 Black Hills Uplift 16 Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : Canada goldenrod occurs in most Kuchler Plant Associations. SAF COVER TYPES : Canada goldenrod occurs in most SAF Cover Types. SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Canada goldenrod is sometimes dominant or codominant in disturbed forest understories [38]. It also may dominate or codominate Midwestern prairies [11]. Canada goldenrod is named as an herbaceous layer dominant in the following publication : Subalpine forb community types of the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming [14]. Common understory associates of Canada goldenrod include red clover (Trifolium pratense), Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), Carolina nightshade (Solanum carolinense), Missouri goldenrod (Solidago missouriensis), small white ladyslipper (Cypripedium candidum), sticky geranium (Geranium viscosissimum), northern bedstraw (Galium boreale) and bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) [6,9,16,36].


SPECIES: Solidago canadensis
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : White-tailed deer selectively graze Canada goldenrod, particularly in late summer and autumn after inflorescence development [17,38]. PALATABILITY : In Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming, Canada goldenrod is rated good to fair in palatability for cattle, sheep, and horses [5]. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : Canada goldenrod provides poor cover for elk, deer, pronghorn, and upland game birds [5]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : NO-ENTRY OTHER USES AND VALUES : Canada goldenrod is an important source of nectar for honeybees [38]. Several shades of dye can be produced from Canada goldenrod [1]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Canada goldenrod is not a serious weed in annual crops, and it seldom reaches densities that are a problem in rangelands. It does, however, invade poorly managed pastures and can be a pest in forest nurseries, perennial gardens, and crops [38,39]. Canada goldenrod has an allelopathic effect on sugar maple (Acer saccharum) seedlings and reduces germination of herbaceous species, including itself [38]. Response to herbicides: The response of Canada goldenrod to herbicides is affected by population age. In Quebec, a young population which had recently invaded a disturbed site was less susceptible to 2,4-D than an old, established population. Conversely, susceptibility to paraquat, simazine, and diuron declined with population age [38].


SPECIES: Solidago canadensis
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Canada goldenrod is an erect, rhizomatous perennial herb growing to heights of about 6 feet (1.8 m) and forming large clonal colonies [13,38,39]. Alternate leaves surround the central stem with the larger leaves occurring on the lower stem. Flowers are borne on numerous small flower heads. The fruit is an achene [30]. The rhizomes arise mostly from the base of the aerial stems, and are usually 2 to 5 inches (5-12 cm) long [27,30,34]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Hemicryptophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Canada goldenrod reproduces from seed and from creeping rhizomes [25,30]. The flowers are self-incompatible and are pollinated by insects. The seed is wind dispersed, with most seeds falling within 6.5 feet (2.0 m) of the parent plant [38]. Vegetative reproduction: Canada goldenrod reproduces from rhizomes after the first year of growth. One erect stem usually forms at a rhizome node. Each rhizome can produce a single shoot from its apical tip [2,38]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Canada goldenrod occurs on abandoned farmlands, infrequently grazed pastures, waste areas, and tallgrass prairies [38]. It is also found along roadsides and fence lines, in dry open fields, and in open woods or damp meadows that dry out every year [18]. It can tolerate a fairly wide range of soil fertility and texture conditions, but is typically found in fairly moist soils. It is not found on waterlogged sites and is found only rarely on very dry sites [31,38]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Obligate Initial Community Species Canada goldenrod is fairly shade intolerant although it occurs in sparsely wooded areas [38]. It is one of the first species to invade following disturbances including fire [23]. Canada goldenrod is eventually replaced by shrubs [32]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Canada goldenrod rhizomes are usually produced in late autumn and lie dormant during the winter months. Shoot extension occurs the following spring [38]. Canada goldenrod flowers from July through September, although the length of its flowering season varies with geographic location. Seeds are gradually dispersed during the autumn and winter [3,20].


SPECIES: Solidago canadensis
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Canada goldenrod is generally enhanced by fire. It regenerates after fire from on-site soil-stored seed and underground rhizomes [25,40]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Rhizomatous herb, rhizome in soil Ground residual colonizer (on-site, initial community)


SPECIES: Solidago canadensis
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Fire top-kills all aerial portions of Canada goldenrod [12,25]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Canada goldenrod responds positively following low- to moderate-severity fires [23,27]. On a northwestern Minnesota prairie site, Canada goldenrod showed increased flowering following a prescribed spring fire [25]. In Wisconsin, prescribed fire had little effect on percent cover of Canada goldenrod but accounted for an increase in stem density [15]. In a 53-year record of forest succession following fire in northern lower Michigan, Canada goldenrod had its greatest frequency index 24 years after fire [28]. In a study of plant succession in the Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii) brush zone after fire, Canada goldenrod showed a higher average number of plants on burned areas than on unburned areas, even after 18 years [22]. In May and June, fires in wetland margins of southeastern North Dakota were conducted for the purpose of increasing cover and forage for waterfowl. In the summer after fires and the next year, Canada goldenrod was either unchanged or reduced in cover as compared to control plots [24]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : The Research Project Summary Understory recovery after low- and high-intensity fires in northern Idaho ponderosa pine forests provides information on prescribed fire use and postfire response of plant community species including Canada goldenrod. FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Solidago canadensis
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In: Kucera, Clair L., ed. Proceedings, 7th North American prairie conference; 1980 August 4-6; Springfield, MO. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri: 267-279. [3228] 16. Hulten, Eric. 1968. Flora of Alaska and neighboring territories. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 1008 p. [13403] 17. Irwin, Larry L. 1985. Foods of moose, Alces alces, and white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus, on a burn in boreal forest. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 99(2): 240-245. [4513] 18. Knoop, Jeffrey D. 1986. Floristic and vegetational survey of the W. Pearl King Praire Grove, a prairie remnant in Madison County, Ohio. In: Clambey, Gary K.; Pemble, Richard H., eds. The prairie: past, present and future: Proceedings, 9th North American prairie conference; 1984 July 29 - August 1; Moorhead, MN. Fargo, ND: Tri-College University Center for Environmental Studies: 44-49. [3513] 19. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384] 20. Kudish, Michael. 1992. Adirondack upland flora: an ecological perspective. Saranac, NY: The Chauncy Press. 320 p. [19376] 21. Livingston, R. B.; Allessio, Mary L. 1968. Buried viable seed in successional field and forest stands, Harvard Forest, Massachusetts. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 95(1): 58-69. [3377] 22. McKell, Cyrus M. 1950. A study of plant succession in the oak brush (Quercus gambelii) zone after fire. Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah. 79 p. Thesis. [1608] 23. Medve, Richard J. 1984. The mycorrhizae of pioneer species in disturbed ecosystems of western Pennsylvania. American Journal of Botany. 71(6): 787-794. [8544] 24. Olson, Wendell W. 1975. Effects of controlled burning on grassland within the Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge. Fargo, ND: North Dakota University of Agriculture and Applied Science. 137 p. Thesis. [15252] 25. Pemble, R. H.; Van Amburg, G. L.; Mattson, Lyle. 1981. Intraspecific variation in flowering activity following a spring burn on a northwestern Minnesota prairie. In: Stuckey, Ronald L.; Reese, Karen J., eds. The prairie peninsula--in the "shadow" of Transeau: Proceedings, 6th North American prairie conference; 1978 August 12-17; Columbus, OH. Ohio Biological Survey: Biological Notes No. 15. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University, College of Biological Sciences: 235-240. [3435] 26. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 27. Richards, Mary S.; Landers, R. Q. 1973. Responses of species in Kalsow Prairie, Iowa, to an April fire. Proceedings Iowa Academy of Science. 80: 159-161. [19837] 28. Scheiner, Samuel M.; Teeri, James A. 1981. A 53-year record of forest succession following fire in northern lower Michigan. Michigan Botanist. 20(1): 3-14. [5022] 29. Schmid, B.; Bazzaz, F. A. 1987. 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Laramie, WY: University of Wyoming, College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service. 281 p. [2939] 40. Young, Richard P. 1986. Fire ecology and management in plant communities of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Portland, OR: Oregon State University. 169 p. Thesis. [3745]

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