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USDA, NRCS. 2012. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 15 October 2012). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

Solidago canadensis 'Crown of Rays'

Canadian goldenrod

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:  Solidago canadensis ‘Crown of Rays’ is a compact clumping perennial wildflower. This cultivar is robust but less vigorous than the parent species.  Plants have sturdy stems and lance shaped leaves. From late summer until autumn, foliage is topped by attractive golden-yellow flower panicles.  This goldenrod prospers in sunny moist or dry sites.

HABITAT & HARDINESS:  The parent species Solidago canadensis ranges through most of North America.  The species occurs throughout Canada, Alaska and in the contiguous United States except for a few southeastern states.

Indigenous plants are found in disturbed parts of mesic or dry prairies, limestone glades, savannas, open areas in floodplain and upland woods, gravel seeps, thickets, disturbed fields, power line and railroad rights-of-way and roadsides.

‘Crown of Rays’ was developed in Europe as a commercial cut flower.  This cultivar is notable for its sturdy compact habit, large flower panicles and early bloom time. 

Plants are hardy from USDA Zones 3-8.

PLANT DESCRIPTION:  Solidago canadensis ‘Crown of Rays’ is a low growing vase shaped perennial with pubescent green or tan stems. 

Leaves are alternate and sessile.  Blades are lance shaped and tapered at each end with toothed or smooth edges.

From mid-summer until early autumn, stems are crowned by showy plume like flower panicles.  The inflorescences are large with spreading horizontal branches densely packed with small golden flowerheads.

The florets mature into small ribbed achenes crowned by tufts of hair.

Plants grow 1.5-2’ tall with a 1-1.5’ spread.  They spread at a moderate to rapid rate forming colonies from creeping underground rhizomes.

CULTURAL & MAINTENANCE NEEDSSolidago canadensis ‘Crown of Rays’ thrives in sunny sites with well drained, slightly acid, dry to average soils. 

Plants tolerate part sun, sandy, loamy or clay soils, drought and seasonal flooding.   Plants will survive extended drought but may develop powdery mildew.

In ideal growing conditions, plants can colonize and spread by underground rhizomes. 

To prevent seed dispersal and encourage rebloom, plants can be deadheaded.   This cultivar can be divided in early spring if needed.

LANDSCAPE USES:  Solidago canadensis ‘Crown of Rays’ is a good Butterfly Nectar Plant or Cut Flower.  Plants have Showy Blooms and are appropriate for a Grouping or Mass Planting in Perennial Borders, Meadows, Rain Gardens or Wildlife Gardens.

COMPANION & UNDERSTUDY PLANTS:  Try pairing Solidago canadensis ‘Crown of Rays’ with Aster ericoides, Aster novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’, Chyrsopsis mariana, Eupatorium hyssopifolium Liatris spicata or Panicum virgatum 'Rostrahlbusch'.

Solidago sphacelata 'Golden Fleece' is another compact goldenrod cultivar with similar cultural needs that could substitute in some situations. 

TRIVIA: ‘Crown of Rays’ is also known as ‘Strahlenkrone’.  The cultivar name means “Aureole” and is defined as a halo-like radiant light around the sun or around the head or body of a sacred person.

Seed is windborne but pollen is not. So Solidago spp. is often falsely accused of causing allergies.  

The pollen and nectar entice native bees, wasps, flies, beetles, butterflies, moths, lacewings and hoverflies. 

The parent species Solidago canadensis has infiltrated and become an invasive weed in parts of Europe, China and Japan.  This cultivar is reported to be much less aggressive than the parent species.


Height:

2-2 ft

Spread:

1-2 ft

Spacing:

2-2 ft

USDA Hardiness Zone:

3-8

Bloom Color:

Yellow

Solidago canadensis 'Crown of Rays' Characteristics

Exposure

  • Full Sun to Partial Shade

Attracts Wildlife

  • Butterflies
  • Pollinators

Soil Moisture Preference

  • Dry to Moist

Attributes

  • Naturalizing
  • Favorite
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Cut Flower
  • Clay Soil
  • Rock Garden

Flowering Months

  • August
  • July

Foliage Color

  • Green

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Fall
  • Summer
  • Spring

Juglans nigra Tolerance (Black Walnut)

  • Yes

Salt Tolerance

  • Low

Phytoremediation

  • Cr-Chromium
  • Pd-Palladium
  • Ag-Silver
  • Pb-Lead
  • Al-Aluminium
  • Ni - Nickel
  • Hg-Mercury
  • Mn-Manganese
  • Zn-Zinc
  • Cu-Copper
  • Pt-Platinum

Plants that work well with Solidago canadensis 'Crown of Rays'

Red switch grass Red switch grass (Panicum virgatum 'Rostrahlbusch')
heath aster heath aster (Aster ericoides)
New England aster New England aster (Aster novae-angliae)
Maryland golden star Maryland golden star (Chyrsopsis mariana)
Hyssop leaved boneset Hyssop leaved boneset (Eupatorium hyssopifolium)
Dense blazing star Dense blazing star (Liatris spicata)
Red switch grass Red switch grass (Panicum virgatum 'Rostrahlbusch')

Substitutions for Solidago canadensis 'Crown of Rays'

Creeping goldenrod Creeping goldenrod (Solidago sphacelata 'Golden Fleece')