Zigzag Goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis): Midsummer's Sentinels Abuzz With Bees and Butterflies

by DerdriuMarriner

Beginning in mid-summer, North American native zigzag goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis) is aflutter with butterflies that appreciate its lengthy enflowering season.

Solidago flexicaulis, commonly known as zigzag goldenrod, is a New World plant that is native to Canada and the United States.

Typical of goldenrods, zigzags are attractive to butterflies.

Six butterflies that extract zigzag's nectar are
•eastern tailed blue (Cupido comyntas),
•purplish copper (Lycaena helloides),
•pearl crescent (Phyciodes tharos),
•grey hairstreak (Strymon melinus),
•Milbert's tortoiseshell (Aglais milberti), and
•clouded sulphur (Colias philodice).

closeup of zigzag goldenrod

USDA Soil Conservation Service, Midwest Wetland Flora (Lincoln NE: Midwest National Technical Center, 1989)
USDA Soil Conservation Service, Midwest Wetland Flora (Lincoln NE: Midwest National Technical Center, 1989)


There are around 100 different goldenrods worldwide. Although most goldenrods are New World natives, more than a dozen are native to Asia, Europe, and South America as well. With goldenrods distributed throughout the United States, they are familiar plants and probably have been seen, consciously or unconsciously, at least once in the lifetime of most Americans.

The roadside and the open fields near my rural home abound with goldenrods, especially zigzags in midsummer.


What is zigzag goldenrod?


Zigzag goldenrod is also commonly known as broadleaf goldenrod or broad-leaved goldenrod. Its scientific name is Solidago flexicaulis.

The genus name, Solidago, is translated from Latin as "I make whole," being a combination of the adjective solidus, "firm, whole" with ago, the first person  singular of agere, "to do, make". This genus name reflects the stature of goldenrods as plants which bring about wholeness

Its common name of zigzag and its species name, flexicaulis (Latin: flexus, "bending, curve" + caulis, "stalk, stem" [from Greek καυλοσ, kaulos, "stem"]), are derived from the characteristic shape of this goldenrod's stem. Nature writer and scientific historian Neltje Blanchan De Graff Doubleday (October 23, 1865 – February 21, 1918) described the stem, in its angled peregrination, as growing "as if waveringly uncertain of the proper direction to take . . ." (Blanchan, p. 27)

The other common name of broadleaf recognizes the characteristic size of this plant's leaves.

As a perennial (Latin: per, "through" + annus, "year"), zigzag goldenrods live for more than two years.


Native status of Solidago flexicaulis in Canada and the United States

United States' nativity: west from Rocky Mountains to eastern seaboard
Canadian nativity:  maritime and eastern provinces
Canadian nativity: maritime and eastern provinces



Zigzag goldenrod occurs natively in five provinces of eastern Canada: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, and Prince Edward Island.

In the United States, zigzag goldenrod is native to the nation's capital of Washington, D.C. as well as thirty-three states west of the Rocky Mountains:  Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Zigzag goldenrod is found natively throughout the state of Connecticut.

In three states zigzag goldenrod is distributed natively throughout, with the exception of one county:

  • Maine's southeastern county of Sagadahoc,
  • New Hampshire's southeastern county of Hillsborough, and
  • Vermont's northwestern county of Grand Isle.

In four states zigzag goldenrod appears in only one county:

  • northeastern county of Doniphan in Kansas,
  • northeastern county of Morehouse in Louisiana,
  • southeastern county of Gass in Nebraska, and
  • northern county of Providence in Rhode Island.


Endangerment status: only in Rhode Island


Zigzag goldenrod is listed as a threatened species in the state of Rhode Island.



U.S.D.A. Plant Hardiness Zone Map


The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Plant Hardiness Zone Map, which classes plants according to the coldest temperature at which they remain viable, places zigzags in Zone 4 (-30° to -20° Fahrenheit; -34° to -29° Celsius) to Zone 9 (20° to 30° F.; -7° to -1° C.).


zigzag goldenrod in late September

Rockford Park, Wilmington, New Castle County, northern Delaware
Rockford Park, Wilmington, New Castle County, northern Delaware



While zigzag goldenrod enjoys the sun-dappled shelter of forest and woodland habitats, this adaptable plant also is found natively in fields and other open areas. While zigzags thrive in well-drained soils with medium moisture, they tolerate not only dry soils but also clay.

Zigzag goldenrods easily habituate to private and public landscapes, from roadsides to wildflower gardens.

Appetizing only to desperate, famished deer, zigzags discourage deer visitors either as border plants or in a shaded area with other deer resistant plants such as heart-leaved aster (Symphyotrichum cordifolium), wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), and bluestem goldenrod (Solidago caesia).

Zigzag's presence is desirable in specially themed plantings, such as for tolerance of:

  • clay soils, with their wetness in spring and dry hardness in summer,
  • juglone, the allelopathic (Greek: ἀλλήλων, allélón, "of one another" + πάθος, pathos, "suffering") chemical secreted by black walnut trees (Juglones nigra), which kills, stunts, or wilts non-resistant plants within a toxic zone of at least 49 to 65 feet (15 to 20 meters) from the tree,
  • partially or fully shaded garden.


Propagation: Rhizomes or seeds


Zigzags may be grown from seeds or from rhizomes (Greek; ῥίζα, rhiza, "root, rootstock"), which are underground stems sprouting roots and shoots.

In gardens zigzags are known to self-seed.


Carl Linnaeus "The Father of Taxonomy" (May 23, 1707 - January 10, 1778) is credited with describing Zigzag Goldenrod in 1758.

6'5" bronze sculpture by Rosalind Cook (b. 1946) against backdrop of 10 floral ceramic tiles by Cynthia Harris
Linnaeus Teaching Gardens, Woodward Park, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Linnaeus Teaching Gardens, Woodward Park, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Externals: What zigzag goldenrod looks like


Zigzag goldenrods may grow to a height of 40 to 48 inches (100 to 120 centimeters). Their spread generally measures 24 to 40 inches (60 to 100 centimeters).

The wideness of zigzag's leaves is a key identification feature. These leaves may easily have a width of 4 inches (10 centimeters) and a length of 6 inches (15 centimeters). Typical of many Solidagos, leaves further up the stem are smaller than those near the base of zigzag plants.

Another key identification feature is that zigzag leaves are attached to the stem by a stalk, botanically termed a petiole (Latin: petiolus, "little foot"). In contrast, some species, such as anise-scented goldenrod (Solidago odora) and blue-stemmed goldenrod (Solidago caesia), have sessile leaves which are directly attached to the stem without the intermediary of a small stalk.

Leaves are shaped ovately (Latin: ovatus, "egg-shaped") in an oval reminiscent of eggs with a broad base at the attached end and with a long, tapered point at the free end.

The venation, or vein arrangement, on zigzag leaves is known as pinnate (Latin: pinnatus, "feathered, winged"). One main vein, the midrib, extends from the base to the tip. Smaller veins branch, in a pair-like manner, from opposite sides of the midrib.


illustration of parts of zigzag goldenrod:

Note broad, serrated leaves; angled stems between leaf nodes; also cypsela with pappus for easy seed dispersal (lower right).
Solidago flexicàulis L.  Zig-zag or Broad-leaved Golden-rod.
Solidago flexicàulis L. Zig-zag or Broad-leaved Golden-rod.


Zigzag goldenrod's light green stem commonly bends back and forth at about a 45° angle in a noticeable zigzag between leaves and flowers. Although quite rare, zigzag goldenrod plants are sometimes found with straight stems with nary a zigzag.

From July to October, zigzag's starry flowers blaze in shades of yellow which twinkle against the expansive greenness of its wide leaves.

These delicate golden twinklings grow in clusters along the upper part of the stem, which is the typical inflorescence (Latin: inflorescere, "to begin to flower") of members of the aster-daisy-sunflower family, Asteraceae.

The inflorescence consists of a flower head, known as a capitulum (Latin: capitulum, "little head"). Each flower head measures about 1/4 of an inch (0.6 centimeters) across.

In the center of each capitulum are five to eight disc florets, which are small tubular flowers. Surrounding the central disc florets are five to eight ray florets, which are narrow flowers resembling single petals. Each ray floret measures up to 1/8 of an inch (0.3 centimeters) in length.

As a member of the Asteraceae family, zigzags produce fruit which is classed as a cypsela (Greek: κυψέλη, kupsele, “hollow vessel”). The outside of each zigzag cypsela is brown, dry, and rather thick and tough. These fruits measure about 1/10 of an inch (0.25 centimeters) in length.

Usually wisps, known as pappi, are attached to the cypsela and thereby encourage dispersal by air currents and breezes.

Each zigzag fruit contains only one seed.


zigzag goldenrod flowers on leafy stem

Zigzag or Broad-Leaved Goldenrod Solidago flexicaulis
Zigzag or Broad-Leaved Goldenrod Solidago flexicaulis

Ethnobotany: therapeutic remedies


Native Americans valued this New World perennial in therapeutic remedies.

The Chippewa (Ojibwe [unknown meaning]), who originated traditionally around the Saint Lawrence River in eastern Canada, chewed the plant's roots to soothe a sore throat.

Traditionally linked with the Finger Lakes in west central New York, the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee, "They Are Building a Long House"), treated gastrointestinal problems, such as biliousness (excessive secretions of bile by the liver), with a decoction (Latin: decoquere, "to boil down") of zigzags. Water-soluble substances were extracted from the plant through boiling.

Traditionally originating around the Straits of Mackinac between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, the Menominee (Mamaceqtaw, "the people"), valued zigzags as:

  • an analgesic (Greek: ἀν-, an-, “without” + ἄλγησις, algēsis, “sense of pain”) and
  • a hemostatic (Greek: αἷμα, haima, "flowing blood" + στάσις, stasis, "stopping, halting").

A snuffy compound of dried, powdered zigzag leaves was insufflated (Latin: insufflare, "to blow into/on"), that is, inhaled, or inserted into the nostrils either to treat a headache or to stop a nosebleed.

Traditionally migrating from northeastern Canada with the Chippewa and Ottawa (Odawe, "traders"), the Potawatomi (Bodéwadmi, "keepers of the hearth fire"), traversed the eastern shore of Lake Huron and settled in areas of northern Michigan. The Potawatomi esteemed zigzags as a febrifuge (fébrifuge [French], from Latin: febris, “fever” + fugare, “to put to flight”). An infusion was derived from steeping an entire zigzag plant to extract its soluble essences.


Zigzag goldenrod serves as host plant for Brown-Hooded Owlet (Cucullia convexipennis) caterpillar.

Oak Openings Preserve Metropark, nw Ohio
Oak Openings Preserve Metropark, nw Ohio

Synecology: popular in its habitat


Zigzags are popular residents in their habitats. Their synecology (Greek: σύν, syn, “with” + oικoλoγία, ecologia, “house” + “study”), which identifies animals and plants which regularly coexist with zigzags, reveals their popularity as a food source and for pollination. Zigzag is no exception to the rule that Solidago plants attract hordes of butterflies and serve as host plants for caterpillar incarnations.

Regular pollinators include solitary ground nesters, with nests burrowed by a single queen, such as:

  • mining bees (genus Andrena), usually unobtrusive in dark brown to black colors with fine light brown, yellow, or whitish abdominal bands, and
  • cellophane bees (genus Colletes), often indistinguishable from mining bees apart from cellophanes' dramatic black and white abdominal banding and their generally larger size.


Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana): consumer of zigzag goldenrod seeds

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, Fort Morgan Peninsula, Mobile Bay, Alabama
Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, Fort Morgan Peninsula, Mobile Bay, Alabama


Zigzag seeds are consumed by such New World native fliers as:

  • pine siskins (Carduelis pinus), small finches noted for their brown-streaked bodies and yellow-splashed wings with white wingbars, and
  • swamp sparrows (Melospiza georgiana), small sparrows with long legs and striking rusty wings against grey- and brown-streaked bodies.


Pine siskins (Carduelis spinus) relish zigzag goldenrod seeds.

pine siskin amongst Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) cones
Juist (East Frisian island), southern North Sea
Juist (East Frisian island), southern North Sea

Synecology: New World nectarers


Zigzag nectar seekers include such well-known, dramatically hued butterfly favorites as monarchs (Danaus plexippus) and viceroys (Limenitis archippus). Nevertheless, unassumingly hued butterflies are also attracted to zigzags, which reliably emblazon the landscape with conspicuous yellow brightness from midsummer into autumn.

New World native butterflies which nectar from zigzags encompass:

  • eastern tailed blue (Cupido comyntas),
  • purplish copper (Lycaena helloides),
  • pearl crescent (Phyciodes tharos),
  • grey hairstreak (Strymon melinus),
  • Milbert’s tortoiseshell (Aglais milberti), and
  • clouded sulphur (Colias philodice).


male Eastern Tailed-Blue Butterfly (Cupido comyntas)

Mer Bleue Conservation Area, Ottawa, Ontario, east central Canada
Mer Bleue Conservation Area, Ottawa, Ontario, east central Canada

Eastern Tailed-Blue Butterfly (Cupido comyntas)


Cupido comyntas is commonly known as the Eastern tailed-blue butterfly.

Eastern tailed-blues are found in southeastern Canada, and they range from the eastern United States westward into western North Dakota, central Colorado, and central Texas. Eastern tailed-blues also range from southeastern Arizona, western New Mexico, and west Texas southwards as far as Costa Rica.

Sunny, open areas serve as favored habitats.

Eastern tailed-blues have a wingspan of 7/8 to 1-1/8 inches (2.2 to 2.9 centimeters).


Eastern tailed-blue (Cupido comyntas): undersides of wings

August 2006, Canada
August 2006, Canada


Eastern tailed-blues are distinguished by a narrow tail trailing from each hindwing.

Male uppersides are iridescent blue. Summer females are brown whereas spring females display blue at wing bases.

Pale grey undersides of hindwings are each brightened with three large orange spots and are dotted with black spots.

In addition to zigzags, Eastern tailed-blues, as low fliers, frequent flowering plants of short stature, such as asters (genus Aster) and wild strawberries (Fragaria virginiana).


male Purplish Copper Butterfly (Lycaena helloides)

Kittitas County, central Washington
Kittitas County, central Washington

Purplish Copper Butterfly (Lycaena helloides)

Lycaena helloides is commonly known as purplish copper butterfly.

Purplish coppers are found in the area of the Great Lakes, ranging westward in Canada into British Columbia and in the United States through the northern Midwest and northern plains as well as ranging south to Baja California (Estado Libre y Soberano de Baja California), Mexico’s northernmost and westernmost state.

Purplish coppers are attracted to openness and wetness. They are drawn to open fields and roadsides as well as to marshes, wet meadows, streamsides, and valleys.

Purplish coppers have a wingspan of 1-1/8 to 1-1/2 inches (3 to 3.8 centimeters).

An iridescent purple sheen in males sparkles amidst orange-brown uppersides in good sunlight. Brown uppersides in females are mainly doused in orange.

The margin of female and male hindwings is marked distinctively with wide, orange zigzaggings.

In addition to zigzag goldenrod, purplish copper feast on butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa) and yarrows (genus Achillea).


Pearl Crescent Butterfly (Phyciodes tharos): variations

"Composite photograph showing the variability in the Pearl Crescent species."
"Composite photograph showing the variability in the Pearl Crescent species."

Pearl Crescent Butterfly (Phyciodes tharos)


Phyciodes tharos is commonly known as the pearl crescent butterfly.

Pearl crescents flit ubiquitously across North America, stretching from southeastern Alberta in western Canada southwards through Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and southeastern California and further south into Mexico. In addition to the prairie province of Alberta, pearl crescents range eastward through Canada’s other two prairie provinces, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and into southern Ontario and radiating there throughout the eastern United States.

Pearl crescents are attracted to openness, from fields and pastures to roadsides, open pine woods, and vacant lots.

Pearl crescents have a wingspan of 1-1/4 to 1-3/4 inches (3.2 to 4.5 centimeters).

Considerable variation is found in the patterned coloration of pearl crescents. Generally, orange uppersides have black borders and fine black markings. The underside of the hindwings, which shades from orange brown to mottled grey brown, displays a distinctive white crescent on the outer edge.

In addition to zigzag goldenrod, pearl crescents favor asters (genus Aster), purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea), and zinnias (genus Zinnia), although basically pearl crescents appreciate any and all nectars in their path.


Grey Hairstreak Butterfly (Strymon melinus)

Amistad National Recreation Area, Val Verde County, southwestern Texas
Amistad National Recreation Area, Val Verde County, southwestern Texas

Grey Hairstreak Butterfly (Strymon melinus)


Strymon melinus is commonly known as the grey hairstreak butterfly.

Grey hairstreaks are multi-continental occupants. Their homeland ranges from southern Canada across North America and Central America to Venezuela in northern South America. Grey hairstreaks inhabit the entire continental United States (“the lower 48”).

Shying away from forested sites, grey hairstreaks enjoy openness, such as open fields, gardens, parks, and vacant lots.

Grey hairstreaks have a wingspan of 7/8 to 1-3/8 inches (2.2 to 3.5 centimeters).

A slender tail angles down from each hindwing.

A large orange to red spot, which flanks the edge of each hindwing above the trailing tail, blazes vividly against the blue-grey monotone of the uppersides.

Undersides vary in greyness, from the darkness of spring/autumn to the paleness of summer.

In addition to zigzag goldenrod, grey hairstreaks relish oregano (Origanum vulgare), sunflowers (genus Helianthus), and veronicas (genus Veronica).


Milbert's Tortoiseshell Butterfly (Aglais milberti)

Glen House, northern New Hampshire
Glen House, northern New Hampshire

Milbert's Tortoiseshell Butterfly (Aglais milberti)


Aglais milberti is commonly known as Milbert’s tortoiseshell or as fire-rim tortoiseshell.

Milbert’s tortoiseshells range from southern Alaska and southern Canada southwestward to California, Nevada, and New Mexico and eastwards to the Atlantic Province of Newfoundland, then swerving southeastward as far as West Virginia.

Milbert’s tortoiseshells are attracted to moist habitats, especially marshes, moist pastures, and wet woodland areas.

Milbert’s tortoiseshells have a wingspan of 1-5/8 to 2-1/2 inches (4.2 to 6.3 centimeters).

Forewing tips are characteristically squared off. Upperside blackness is brightened with orange to red epaulets. Inset next to narrow black wing edgings, wide bands of orange to yellow gradations splash across the blackness.

Blue spots usually flash amidst the black edging of each hindwing.

In addition to zigzag goldenrod, Milbert’s tortoiseshells delight in lilacs (genus Syringa) and thistles (family Asteraceae).


female Clouded sulphur (Colias philodice)

Kittitas County, central Washington
Kittitas County, central Washington

Clouded Sulphur Butterfly (Colias philodice)


Colias philodice is commonly known as the clouded sulphur butterfly.

Clouded sulphurs are familiar with vast expanses of North America. They range from Alaska southward through central and southeast Canada and throughout the “lower 48” of the United States, with the exception of most of California, south Texas, and most of Florida.

Favoring open habitats, clouded sulphurs thrive in the seemingly infinite variety of open areas, from lawns and meadows to gardens and parks to roadsides and fields of alfalfa and clover.

Clouded sulphurs have a wingspan of 1-1/2 to 2-3/4 inches (3.8 to 7 centimeters).

The bright, clear yellow uppersides of males are edged with solid black. Male forewings are marked with dark spots. Their hindwings sport a silver spot with an orange-pink rim which often is doubled.

Females either are yellow with an uneven black edging dotted with yellow spots, or they are greenish white in their albino, or white, form.

In addition to zigzag goldenrod, clouded sulphurs delight in asters (genus Aster) and phloxes (genus Phlox).


Clouded Sulphur Butterfly (Colias philodice): albino female

albino Clouded Sulphur in October
albino Clouded Sulphur in October

Zigzag goldenrod: New World native, midsummer sentinel


Zigzag goldenrod is as intrinsic to the landscape of eastern and midwestern North America as the Atlantic Ocean, the Great Lakes, and the mighty Mississippi River. This New World native is kin to sweet goldenrod (Solidago odora), whose anise-scented leaves joined with betony (genus Stachys), New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus), and red clover (Trifolium pretense) in the uniquely colonial, flavorful beverage known as "liberty tea", imbibed with patriotic zeal after the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773. As a goldenrod, zigzags belong to a genus, Solidago, which enjoys historic and prehistoric respect as a purveyor of health through therapeutic remedies.

Throughout the summer and autumn, across Canada and the United States, the many varieties of goldenrod steadfastly and lengthily bloom. So many Solidago plants are New World natives that an American or a Canadian who has not seen, consciously or unconsciously, a goldenrod at some point in North American life would be a rarity indeed.

Zigzags live up to their heritage. They resplendently embellish the landscape of eastern North America. Their therapeutic qualities remain intact and extolled.

Moreover, the uncomplicated splendor of their golden flowers and green foliage as they zigzag up the plant's stem does not go unnoticed, not by Americans or Canadians, not by other members of the animal kingdom. Butterflies are attracted to the timing of zigzag's flowering. Autumn is not too far behind midsummer. When these crooked sentinels blaze golden in July, the pleasures of summer are being transferred to the promises of autumn's breathtaking hues. Butterflies rely upon zigzags to escort them through this time of transition in the cycle of life. Just as zigzags have persisted in the environmentally challenged human landscape, they also continue to flourish in the interactive environment of some of nature's loveliest, most ephemeral inhabitants.


broad-leaved goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis)

Oxford County, southwestern Ontario, east central Canada:   43.2299154, -80.64413358
Oxford County, southwestern Ontario, east central Canada: 43.2299154, -80.64413358



My special thanks to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet.


Rare and vulnerable, New England cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis) includes zigzag goldenrod as food source.

New England cottontail not only partakes of zigzag goldenrod but runs zigzaggedly to elude pursuers. ~ Under threat from Eastern cottontails (Sylvilagus floridanus), New England cottontails' territory has shrunk by 75% since 1960s.
Crescent Beach State Park, Cape Elizabeth, Cumberland County, southern Maine
Crescent Beach State Park, Cape Elizabeth, Cumberland County, southern Maine

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Slattery, Britt E., Kathryn Reshetiloff, and Susan M. Zwicker. Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping: Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Annapolis MD: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Chesapeake Bay Field Office, 2003.

“Solidago flexicaulis L.” The Plant List > Angiosperms (Flowering Plants) > Compositae > Solidago. The Plant List: A Working List of all Plant Species. Royal  Botanic Gardens, Kew and Missouri Botanical Garden. The Plant List (2010). Version 1. Web. www.theplantlist.org/

  • Available at: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl/record/gcc-127020 

Tal, Arieh. “Solidago flexicaulis (Zigzag Goldenrod).” Nature Through the Lens > Gallery > Asters & Goldenrods of New England > Goldenrods. 01/01/2010. Arieh Tal. Web. www.nttlphoto.com

  • Available at: http://www.nttlphoto.com/botany/astersgoldenrods/Goldenrods/Solidago/Flexicaulis/s_flexicaulis.htm

Tenaglia, Dan. "Solidago flexicaulis." Missouriplants.com > Yellow flowers, Leaves alternate. Last modified 02/08/2007. Dan Tenaglia. Web. www.missouriplants.com

  • Available at:  http://www.missouriplants.com/Yellowalt/Solidago_flexicaulis_page.html

U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service. Midwest Wetland Flora: Field Office Illustrated Guide to Plant Species. Lincoln NE: Midwest National Technical Center, 1989.


Solidago flexicaulis

Oxford County, southwestern Ontario, east central Canada:  43.2299154, -80.64413358
Oxford County, southwestern Ontario, east central Canada: 43.2299154, -80.64413358
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Attracting Native Pollinators: The Xerces Society Guide, Protecting North America's Bees and Butterflies

Attracting Native Pollinators is a comprehensive guidebook for gardeners, small farmers, orchardists, beekeepers, naturalists, environmentalists, and public land managers on how to protect and encourage the activity of North America's native pollinators.
pollinator-themed books

Butterflies: Grey t-shirt

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Updated: 11/16/2021, DerdriuMarriner
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DerdriuMarriner on 03/15/2017

sandyspider, Goldenrod, like forsythia and spirea, is so welcoming with its bright, cheery, long-lasting yellow colors.

sandyspider on 03/15/2017

Do see a lot of the goldenrod plants in my area. Good information and how it zigzags.

DerdriuMarriner on 09/06/2014

cazort, Your encouraging comments about my tribute to zigzags, one of my favorite goldenrods, are greatly appreciated.
As with you, I also live in zigzag's native range. As you've noted, zigzags thrive in gardens as well as in the wild, under a variety of light conditions.
It's always a pleasure to meet up with zigzags. It's a treat that you're able to see zigzags growing along with blue wood asters. They make a stunning combination.
A similarly stunning blue-and-yellow contrast is zigzags with chicory. August is a wonderful month for their duet here.

cazort on 09/06/2014

This is an awesome page! I love how you highlight the ecological relationships between this plant and various animals. The butterflies that use this plant are beautiful!

I live in the native range of this plant, and have seen people grow zigzag goldenrod in gardens with great success, and I've also seen it growing in the wild. It seems extraordinarily shade-tolerant among goldenrods, and it's quite unique in terms of being one of the few yellow-blooming plants that blooms in late fall and can tolerate shade. I even saw one plant planted on a north-facing exposure which never got any direct sunlight, and it thrived and bloomed prolifically.

I also have seen it grown with heart-leaf aster, or blue wood aster, one of my favorite plants, and the blue-and-yellow color contrast is really beautiful, as the plants bloom at the same time, and they often grow well in similar conditions.

DerdriuMarriner on 11/13/2013

WriterArtist, Butterflies are so photogenic that, me, too, I love to look at their beautiful images. I've always enjoyed learning about butterflies, so it's a pleasure to share what I've learned from them.
Thank you for stopping by and expressing your appreciation of butterflies.

WriterArtist on 11/12/2013

Wow - love these beautiful images of butterflies, you have quite an extensive information on them.

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