Open fields and full sun usually come to mind when thinking about Goldenrods and Asters. One usually doesn’t think about going to the woods to them. But one would be wrong, both families have a member that lives in the shadows.
Zigzag Goldenrod – Solidago flexicaulis
|AKA: Broad Leaved Goldenrod is smaller than it’s full sun cousins. It grows up to 3 feet high according to my field guides but I rarely see any over a foot high.
Leaves are very broad, pointed at the tip and strongly tapered in the back.
The stems lend themselves to the common name – Zigzag. At each leaf attachment the stem angles off in an overall zigzag pattern.
Zigzag Goldenrod flowers generally have 3 – 4 rays. The flowers form small clusters in the upper leaf axils with a larger terminal cluster.
…and now for a little something else that grows in the woods. This plant to is reported to grow up to 3 feet tall but once again I’ve rarely seen one over a foot high.
Whorled Wood Aster – Aster acuminatus
From above it does look like the leaves grow in a whorl.
Looking from the side – the leaves are alternate and hardly spaced but definitely do not grow from the same spot in a true whorl. Also note this plant also has a zigzag stem.
The flowers are a bit different than the full sun Asters too.
They don’t have as many rays and they’re kind of floppy looking too.
It’s not that I ran out of mushrooms but I thought to get these into my wildflower collection before I forgot them. Besides they’re much easier to identify than the fungi I find.
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