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Solidago gigantea

Identity

Common name: Giant goldenrod
Synonyms: S. glabra, S. serotina, Aster latissimifolius var. serotinus
Origin: North America
Plant type: Herbaceous
Life cycle: Perennial
Code of conduct: Annex I (consensus list)
Invasive status (ISEIA protocol): Black list
Main ornemental function: Mixed border

Description

This factsheet is common for 2 species of North-american Solidago's : S. canadensis and S. gigantea. These 2 species are very close morphologically and ecologically. Goldenrods are tall herbs up to 0,5 to 2 m tall, with annual above ground shoots and persistent belowground rhizomes. Yellow flowers very attractive for pollinators. Leaves of S. gigantea are 10-20 cm long, 1.5- 4 cm wide, variably toothed.

Spread

Solidago's are propagated by seeds and rhizomes. One individual can produce a high number (several thousands) of wind-dispersed seeds. Within established stands, Solidago species probably propagates only vegetatively. Solidago's have a very strong lateral growth, one clone can have a diameter of 10 m. But rhizomes can also be dispersed over long distances by rivers. Small rhizome fragments can be transported by water currents. First introduced as ornamental, goldenrods are still available in garden nurseries.

Habitat

Most vigorous in riparian habitats (riverbanks) and ruderal areas like raiways, wastelands, abandonned fields. Also found in grasslands, forests. Pioneer species intolerant to shade. Preference for nutrient rich and moist soils, but also able to grow on dry and nutrient-poor conditions.

Impact

Species classified A3 in Belgium. Solidago species are considered as one of the most aggressive plant invaders in Europe. They form dense populations with a high shoot density, reducing native plant species richness. Giant goldenrod can modify soil properties. A recent study has shown that bird communities in alluvial grasslands are negatively impacted by the dominance of S. gigantea. Goldenrods colonise high conservation value habitats, like wetlands or dry meadows. Along riverbanks, goldenrods can occur with other invasive species like Impatiens glandulifera, Heracleum mantegazzianum, Fallopia japonica, Helianthus tuberosus or North American asters species (Aster lanceolatus, A. novi-belgii, A. salignus). For more information about this species, click here

Recommendation

Do not plant, do not buy this species.

Possible native alternative

Main ornemental function

Mixed border

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