Sticky goldenrod, spike-like goldenrod
The Four Corners states, the central Rocky Mountains, and small areas of adjacent states
Varied: rocky slopes, meadows, grasslands, lakeshores
Oblanceolate, up to 4 inches long, hairless, lined by large or small teeth
July to September
Unlike most goldenrods which have wide, branched flower clusters, the inflorescence of solidago simplex is elongated but narrow, containing as few as 3 heads or as many as 150, in a densely-packed arrangement on all sides of the stem. The number of flowers, and stem height, depends mostly on location; tundra plants are just a couple of inches tall, with very few flowers, while those at lower elevations can be over 2 feet high. Plants can produce just one stem, or up to ten.
Flowers have between 6 and 16 ray florets (usually 8), from 6 to 30 disc florets and 3 to 4 series of short, greenish phyllaries; those at the base are linear to oblong in shape and have rounded tips while those higher up are lanceolate, with pointed tips. The bell-shaped involucres have a few sticky, yellowish glands, a feature not present in some similar species. The large, toothed green leaves grow mostly around the base; stem leaves are smaller and narrower, with edges that are entire or have only small teeth. This is a wide ranging and variable plant, in such aspects as leaf shape, leaf length, phyllary length and stem height.