Solidago altissima

Solidago altissima L. (S. canadensis L. var. scabra (Muhlenberg ex Willdenow) Torrey & A. Gray, S. canadensis L. subsp. altissima (L.) O.Bolòs & Vigo) (N Am.) – An exceptional alien, probably a garden throw-out. A small population was discovered in 2016 in a sand raised site in the Waaslandhaven port area in Verrebroek, Beveren (Verloove & al. 2017).
Solidago altissima is a critical species that has been claimed from Europe since many decades. At one time, it was believed that this name should be applied for what is now called S. canadensis (Weber 2000). However, all previous claims are probably erroneous, mostly as a result of confusion between S. altissima and a particular variant of S. canadensis with stems hairy throughout, var. hargeri Fern. In all other features (involucre size, leaf shape and texture, height, etc.), the latter corresponds with S. canadensis.
For additional information see Verloove & al. (2017).  

Selected literature

Beaudry J. R. & Chabot D. L. (1957) Studies on Solidago L. I. S. altissima L. and S. canadensis L. Contr. Institute of Botany University of Montreal, Quebec 70: 65–72.

Cheek M. D. & Semple J. C. (2016) First official record of naturalised populations of Solidago altissima L. var. pluricephala M.C. Johnst. (Asteraceae: Astereae) in Africa. South Afr. J. Bot. 105: 333–336.

Sakata Y., Itami J., Isagi Y. & Ohgushi T. (2015) Multiple and mass introductions from limited origins: genetic diversity and structure of Solidago altissima in the native and invaded range. J. Plant Research 128(6): 909-921. 

Sell P. & Murrell G. (2006) Flora of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. 4 Campanulaceae – Asteraceae. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: XXVIII + 624 p.

Semple J. C. & Cook R. E. (2006) Solidago L. pp. 107–166. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee (eds.), Flora of North America, vol. 20. Oxford University Press, New York-Oxford. [available online at:]

Semple J. C., Faheemuddin H., Chong Y. A., Sorour M. K., Hood J. A., Khamis I., Ma Y. & Kornobis K. (2013) A multivariate morphometric study of the Solidago canadensis / S. lepida complex of Solidago subsect. Triplinerviae. I. Northeastern taxa (Asteraceae: Astereae). Phytoneuron 2013-58: 1–20. [available online at:

Semple J. C., Rahman H., Bzovsky, S., Sorour M. K., Kornobis K., Lopez Laphitz R. & Tong L. (2015) A multivariate morphometric study of the Solidago altissima complex and S. canadensis (Asteraceae: Astereae). Phytoneuron 2015-10: 1–31. [available online at:

Semple J. C., Ringius G. S. & Zhang J. J. (1999) The Goldenrods of Ontario: Solidago L. and Euthamia Nutt. (3rd ed.). Univ. Waterloo Biol. Ser. 39: VI + 90 pp.

Semple J.C. & Uesugi A. (2017) Solidago altissima var. pluricephala (Asteraceae: Astereae) in Australia, Tonga, and Hawaii.  Phytoneuron 2017-40: 1–16. [available online at:

Stace C. (2010) New flora of the British Isles, 3th ed. Cambridge University Press: XXXII + 1232 pp.

Szymura M., Szymura T. H. & Kreitschitz A. (2015) Morphological and cytological diversity of goldenrods (Solidago L. and Euthamia Nutt.) from south-western Poland. Biodiv. Res. Conserv. 38: 41–49. [available online at:

Verloove F., Zonneveld B.J.M. & Semple J.C. (2017) First evidence for the presence of invasive Solidago altissima (Asteraceae) in Belgium. Willdenowia 47: 69–75. [available online at:]

Weber E. (1997) Morphological variation of the introduced perennial Solidago canadensis L. sensu lato (Asteraceae) in Europe. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 123(3): 197–210.

Weber E. (2000) Biological flora of Central Europe: Solidago altissima L. Flora 195: 123-134.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith