Species Profile

Showy Goldenrod Boreal population

Scientific Name: Solidago speciosa
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
Range: Ontario
Last COSEWIC Assessment: November 2010
Last COSEWIC Designation: Threatened
SARA Status: No schedule, No Status

Individuals of this species may be protected under Schedule 1 under another name; for more information see Schedule 1, the A-Z Species List, or if applicable, the Related Species table below.


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Related Species

Species COSEWIC
Status
SARA
Status
Showy Goldenrod Non-active Endangered

Quick Links: | Description | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Showy Goldenrod

Description

Showy Goldenrod(Solidago speciosa) is a perennial plant in the aster family. Plants have as many as 30 stems up to 1.5 m tall. These are typically unbranched, smooth, and usually reddish in colour with alternate, lance-shaped leaves. The inflorescence is large and showy, up to 30 cm long, consisting of many small, bright yellow compound flower heads arranged into a panicle. Its branches are erect, and do not curve downwards like those of other large goldenrods. Flowering in Ontario starts in late August to early September and continues into mid-October. Two subspecies of Showy Goldenrod have been recognized but only Solidago speciosa subspecies speciosa occurs in Canada. Two varieties of this subspecies are currently recognized (variety speciosa and variety rigidiuscula), but these are difficult to distinguish and have overlapping ranges in the United States. Only S. speciosa var. rigidiuscula is presently reported for Canada. However, this report also documents the occurrence of a population of Showy Goldenrod in northwestern Ontario near Kenora that differs morphologically from the Walpole Island plants. Consequently, the taxonomic status of Solidago speciosa requires further study. Showy Goldenrod is a popular garden plant sold widely in the U.S. horticultural trade as evident through web advertisements from suppliers in five states. Decoctions of various parts of the plant have been used medicinally. Showy Goldenrod infected by the Coleosporium rust fungus can cause sickness and death in cattle and horses. (Updated 2017/08/30)

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Distribution and Population

The range of the entire species extends across much of the eastern United States, but also includes areas of Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. In Canada, Showy Goldenrodis restricted to Walpole Island First Nation (WIFN) in southwestern Ontario and another Ontario site northwest of Kenora. The latter population was recently discovered and extents the global range of the species considerably northwards. Much less than 1% of the total range of the species is in Canada. (Updated 2017/08/30)

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Habitat

In NW Ontario, the plants are found on an open south-facing slope dominated by Porcupine Grass and Big Bluestem, fringed on the upper slope by Jack Pine, Red Pine and Eastern White Pine. (Updated 2017/08/30)

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Biology

Showy Goldenrod is a perennial that reproduces primarily by seed. Longevity in the wild is unknown, but garden plants will survive several years. Plants vary in size, producing 1 to 30 or more flowering shoots. The species is insect pollinated and the heavy, sticky pollen is carried by a wide assortment of insects including bees, wasps, flies, beetles, moths and butterflies. The caterpillars of many moths feed on various parts of this goldenrod. Additional insect feeders include various leafhoppers, lace bugs, plant bugs, and beetles. (Updated 2017/08/30)

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Threats

No obvious threats occur for the Boreal DU. (Updated 2017/08/30)

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Protection

Federal Protection

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

6 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Showy Goldenrod Solidago speciosa in Canada (2011)

    Showy Goldenrod (Solidago speciosa) is a perennial plant in the aster family. Plants have as many as 30 stems up to 1.5 m tall. These are typically unbranched, smooth, and usually reddish in colour with alternate, lance-shaped leaves. The inflorescence is large and showy, up to 30 cm long, consisting of many small, bright yellow compound flower heads arranged into a panicle. Its branches are erect, and do not curve downwards like those of other large goldenrods. Flowering in Ontario starts in late August to early September and continues into mid-October.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Showy Goldenrod, Boreal population (2011)

    A morphologically and ecologically distinct population has recently been found at a single location in northwestern Ontario. It occurs in a geographically distinct area from the Great Lakes Plains population. This small population may consist of only about 1000 individuals. Such geographically restricted small populations are potentially subject to negative chance events.           

Orders

  • Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessments Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Act (2017)

    His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, acknowledges receipt, on the making of this Order, of the assessments done pursuant to subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) with respect to the species set out in the annexed schedule.
  • Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (2017)

    Biodiversity is rapidly declining worldwide as species become extinct. Today’s extinction rate is estimated to be between 1 000 and 10 000 times higher than the natural rate. Biodiversity is positively related to ecosystem productivity, health and resiliency (i.e. the ability of an ecosystem to respond to changes or disturbances). Given the interdependency of species, a loss of biodiversity can lead to decreases in ecosystem function and services (e.g. natural processes such as pest control, pollination, coastal wave attenuation, temperature regulation and carbon fixing). These services are important to the health of Canadians, and also have important ties to Canada’s economy. Small changes within an ecosystem resulting in the loss of individuals and species can therefore result in adverse, irreversible and broad-ranging effects.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 - 2011 (2011)

    Under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings during the past year assessing the status or reviewing the classification of a total of 92 wildlife species.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species – December 2011 (2011)

    As part of its strategy for protecting wildlife species at risk, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA) on June 5, 2003. Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species that receive protection under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Please submit your comments by February 8, 2012 for species undergoing normal consultations and by November 8, 2012 for species undergoing extended consultations.