Solidago sempervirens L.

Common Name: Seaside goldenrod

Synonyms and Other Names:

Aster sempervirens (Linnaeus) Kuntze

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Identification: Seaside goldenrod is a late-flowering perennial forb that may grow up to 6 ft tall at maturity, blooming August through October. The terminal flowering heads are dense, clustered spikes of bright yellow flowers that are larger than those of other goldenrod species. The leaves are dark green, oblong, fleshy, somewhat succulent, and lance-shaped. They are arranged alternately along the entire length of the stem. The leaves at the base are the largest, up to 8 in long and ½ –1 ½ in wide, gradually decreasing in size towards the top of the plant.

In winter, the plant’s persistent whitened leaves, coarse stalks, and dried flower parts make it easily identifiable. Red leaves sprout in late February and early March, and soon become dark green. From late August to early October, its bright yellow flowers provide an attractive contrast to its lush, thick, green vegetation (Sheahan 2014). 

Size: to 6 ft

Native Range: The Atlantic coast.

Map Key
This map only depicts Great Lakes introductions.

Great Lakes Nonindigenous Occurrences: Naturalized in the Great Lake region, with the first record occurring in 1969 to the Lake Michigan region. Introduced populations are sometimes very large near the Detroit River and Lake Erie in southwestern Ontario, eastern Michigan, and adjacent Ohio. Invasive into Southern Ontario in 1974.  A second disjunct group of populations occurs in Illinois and Indiana in the Chicago area at the southern end of Lake Michigan. 

Currently distributed in many coastal states, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania

May occur where road salts are used.

Table 1. Great Lakes region nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state/province, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Solidago sempervirens are found here.

State/ProvinceFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
IL196919691Lake Michigan
IN198119932Little Calumet-Galien; St. Joseph
MI197820159Detroit; Great Lakes Region; Huron; Ottawa-Stony; Raisin; Southeastern Lake Michigan; St. Clair; St. Clair-Detroit; Western Lake Erie
NY200720081Eastern Lake Erie
WI200220021Southwestern Lake Michigan

Table last updated 6/20/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: Seaside goldenrod can grow in coarse to medium infertile soils with a pH range from 5.5–7.5. Seaside goldenrod is well adapted to coastal habitats including the backside of
primary dunes, low secondary dunes, and edges of salt marshes. It has some tolerance for drought, allowing it to survive in the dry conditions of the dunes. Seaside goldenrod is also tolerant of high salinity, salt spray, and fire.

Seaside goldenrod is a short-day perennial (flowering coincides with shortened photoperiods). The fruit of the seaside goldenrod is a capsule with a pappus in a single circle of bristles. The seeds require no cold stratification for germination. When buried, seed viability decreases after the first year in both disturbed and undisturbed areas. Therefore, seaside goldenrod does not appear to have a persistent seed bank (Sheahan 2014).

Because seaside goldenrod has a moderate growth rate, a shorter life span than other Solidago spp., a limited ability to spread through seed, and produces seedlings with low vigor, it is not generally considered an invasive plant (Sheahan 2014).

Means of Introduction: Accidental release.

Status: Established, but of low concern.

Great Lakes Impacts:
Summary of species impacts derived from literature review. Click on an icon to find out more...


Current research on the environmental impact of Solidago sempervirens in the Great Lakes is inadequate to support proper assessment.

Realized:  This species can produce allelechemicals that negatively affect the growth of native grasses (Cheplick and Aliotta 2009); however, it is generally restricted to high-saline (salt-polluted) environments where it has little competition in the Great Lakes region. Because seaside goldenrod has a moderate growth rate, a shorter life span than other Solidago spp., a limited ability to spread through seed, and produces seedlings with low vigor, it is not generally considered an invasive plant (Sheahan 2014).

There is little or no evidence to support that Solidago sempervirens has significant socio-economic impacts in the Great Lakes.

No significant socioeconomic impacts have been reported for this species in the Great Lakes region. There is no known research suggesting that S.sempervirens can negatively affect the growth of nearby food crops (Sheahan 2014).

There is little or no evidence to support that Solidago sempervirens has significant beneficial impacts in the Great Lakes.

No significant beneficial impacts have been reported for this species in the Great Lakes region. While the medicinal value of this particular species of goldenrod remains unknown, many species in the Solidago genus have been used for generations as a natural remedy for a variety of health conditions (ex. S. Canadensis and S. vigaurea). Thomas Edison explored ways of using latex from the seaside goldenrod for the production of natural rubber (caoutchouc) (Sheahan 2014).

Management: Regulations (pertaining to the Great Lakes region)
There are no known regulations for this species.

Note: Check federal, state/provincial, and local regulations for the most up-to-date information.

Seaside goldenrod is being actively planted for dune restoration and wildlife habitat on the east coast. Most of the available research-based management information focuses on growing the plant rather than control.


Goldenrods in general are popular hosts to overwintering gall insects. Approximately half of all gall insects are lost to predation. Three common herbivores that feed on seaside goldenrod are the goldenrod leaf miner (Microrhopala vittata), red goldenrod aphid (Uroleucon pieloui) and the goldenrod leaf beetle (Trirhabda Canadensis).The goldenrod leaf miner feeds on the upper leaves, creating numerous small holes. Unlike aphids,
population densities for the goldenrod leaf miner remain low and only occasionally create severe damage. The goldenrod leaf beetle is strongly attracted to the odor of
the host plant S. sempervirens, and has been shown to prefer it to the odor of non-host plants (Sheahan 2014).

Spreads only slowly other than by seed, so deadheading or other cutting prior to seed-set can be effective for control.

This is a salt-adapted species. Efforts to control salt-pollution in the freshwater Great Lakes region may help to control populations of this species.

Note: Check state/provincial and local regulations for the most up-to-date information regarding permits for control methods. Follow all label instructions.

Remarks: Plants cultivated in European gardens have been labeled S. sempervirens var. viminea (Aiton) A. Gray.  Plants found from Florida to Texas and Mexico are recognized by some experts as a different species (S. mexicana), but as another variety of this single species by others. It also hybridizes regularly with rough-stemmed goldenrod (S. rugosa).

References (click for full reference list)

Author: R. Sturtevant, and V. Howard

Contributing Agencies:

Revision Date: 8/15/2019

Citation for this information:
R. Sturtevant, and V. Howard, 2024, Solidago sempervirens L.: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, and NOAA Great Lakes Aquatic Nonindigenous Species Information System, Ann Arbor, MI,, Revision Date: 8/15/2019, Access Date: 6/20/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.