Marsh goldenrod, (Solidago elongata) –  and other similar goldenrods

by Doreen Smith

“In the drying marshes of Pt. Reyes, such as along the western parts of the Abbotts Lagoon trail, marsh goldenrod, Solidago elongata, is often abundant in early September. It is often seen flowering in showy yellow masses. The inflorescences are much larger than those of the other two true goldenrods of Marin County, Solidago spathulata and Soldago velutina ssp. californica.

These last two species are of much drier habitats. S. spathulata grows mostly on grassy headlands or in dry sandy spots on Point Reyes, such as by the Chimney Rock trail. S. velutina ssp. californica grows more inland e.g. on Mt. Tamalpais at Rock Spring and at Turtleback Hill, China Camp State Park.

One other late-flowering yellow member of the Asteraceae from freshwater marshes, is found in several Marin sites, not only coastal or on Point Reyes, and used to be classified as a Solidago but is now called Euthamia occidentalis, grass-leaved goldenrod.