Family: Asteraceae (A Utah Flora – Compositae) – Sunflower Family
Perennial herbs; stems 11.8” to 3.9' (3 to 12 dm) tall or more; at least 3 species at Arches National Park : Solidago canadensis (Common goldenrod/Goldenrod); Solidago occidentalis (Western goldenrod); and Solidago sparsiflora (Alcove goldenrod)
Leaves: alternate; simple; entire to toothed; 0.8” to 4” (2 to 10 cm) long or more; 0.12” to 0.8” (3 to 20 mm) wide
Flowers: 10-17 yellow ray flowers, fertile, 0.04” to 0.12” (1 to 3 mm) long; yellow disk flowers perfect, fertile; ray and disk flowers appear to be a single flower, but is composed of several flowers (a composite)
Pollinators: Solidago canadensis is pollinated by insects; self-fertile
Fruits: achene – 1 seeded with hard shell
Blooms in Arches National Park: October
Habitat in Arches National Park: riparian and moist areas
Location seen: Courthouse wash
Other: The genus name, “Solidago”, means “to make whole” which refers to the healing properties of Goldenrod. The species name, “canadensis”, means “of or from Canada and North America ” referring to the plant's distribution. The species name, “occidentalis”, means “of or from the west” referring to this plant's geographical distribution in the western United States . The species name, “sparsiflora”, means “sparsely flowered”.
This family is the most advanced and complex of the dicots. The family is rich in oils and resins and is found in every part of the world, but is infrequent in the tropical rainforest. Aquatic or semi-aquatic species are also uncommon.