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USDA, NRCS. 2012. The PLANTS Database (, 15 October 2012). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

Solidago sempervirens

Sea shore goldenrod

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:  Solidago sempervirens is an upright perennial wildflower that emerges from an evergreen rosette.  Leaves are smooth, succulent and glossy with a narrow oval shape.  From late summer until autumn, plants are topped by attractive golden-yellow flower panicles.  This lovely goldenrod prospers in sandy seaside locations or sunny pollinator gardens.

HABITAT & HARDINESS:  Solidago sempervirens occurs along the Atlantic Coast from Newfoundland to Florida and west along the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Texas and Mexico. It has become naturalized in the Great Lakes region and has spread inland along roadways that are heavily salted in winter.

Plants are indigenous to pinewoods, coastal marshes, backsides of primary dunes, low secondary dunes, estuaries, shores and roadsides.  Plants occur in dry to damp soil and tolerate salt spray and high salinity soils.

Plants are hardy from USDA Zones 4-11.

PLANT DESCRIPTION:  Solidago sempervirens is a clumping perennial with sturdy green or reddish erect or arching stems.  The plant base is a woody caudex. 

Plants produce tight clumps of narrow evergreen basal leaves.  The stem leaves are alternate and smaller as the stems rise.

The leaves are thick and fleshy with a waxy surface, smooth edges and no petiole.  They are oval with pointed tips and narrow bases. The blades are 4-16” long and .5-2.5” wide.

From late summer until fall, narrow dense recurved flower panicles appear at the stem tips and in the upper leaf axils.  The showy panicles are composed of many bright yellow flower heads that are borne on only one side of the stem.

The heads mature into clusters of small achenes crowned by tufts of hair.

Plants grow 2-8’ tall with a 1-3’ spread. 

CULTURAL & MAINTENANCE NEEDSSolidago sempervirens thrives in sunny sites with sandy infertile soils.  Plants tolerate slightly acid to slightly alkaline pH, drought, gravelly or loamy soils and controlled burns.

This is a relatively pest free species that flourishes in high salinity soils and salt spray.

In some sites this species self-seeds aggressively.  If seedlings are a problem, plants can be cut to the ground after flowering to remove developing seed.

LANDSCAPE USES:  This is a good choice for use as a Butterfly Nectar Plant, Grouping or Mass Planting for a Seaside Garden.  Solidago sempervirens has Showy Blooms and is appropriate for Cottage Gardens, Low Maintenance Plantings, Meadows, Perennial Borders, Wildlife Gardens, Stormwater Management and Dune Restoration Projects.

COMPANION & UNDERSTUDY PLANTS:  Try pairing Solidago sempervirens with Andropogon virginicus, Asclepias incarnata, Eupatorium hyssopifolium, Muhlenbergia capillaris, Panicum amarum ‘Dewey Blue’ or Spartina patens.

Solidago rigida is another salt tolerant goldenrod with similar season of bloom and cultural needs that could be substituted if needed.

TRIVIA:  Solidago sempervirens is an important nectar source for migrating Monarchs and other butterflies in coastal areas.  Along with dune grasses, plants provide nesting sites for dune dwelling birds. 

Solidago sempervirens is easily differentiated from other goldenrods due to its thick fleshy toothless and hairless leaves.

Some taxonomists recognize plants found from Florida to Texas and Mexico as a separate species (Solidago mexicana) or as a variety of the species (S. sempervirens var. mexicana).

Solidago sempervirens often forms naturally occurring hybrids with Solidago rugosa.


2-8 ft


1-3 ft


2-4 ft

USDA Hardiness Zone:


Bloom Color:


Solidago sempervirens Characteristics


  • Full Sun to Partial Shade

Attracts Wildlife

  • Butterflies
  • Songbirds
  • Pollinators

Soil Moisture Preference

  • Moist to Dry


  • Long Blooming
  • East-Coast Native
  • Rain Garden
  • Cut Flower
  • Coastal
  • Naturalizing

Flowering Months

  • October
  • September

Foliage Color

  • Green

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Fall
  • Summer
  • Spring

Growth Rate

  • Fast

Juglans nigra Tolerance (Black Walnut)

  • Yes

Salt Tolerance

  • High

Interesting Notes:

For more information on this plant, visit the USDA PLANTS Database:

Plants that work well with Solidago sempervirens ''

Purple stemmed aster Purple stemmed aster (Aster puniceus)
Pink hair grass Pink hair grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris)
Broom sedge Broom sedge (Andropogon virginicus)
Hyssop leaved boneset Hyssop leaved boneset (Eupatorium hyssopifolium)
Atlantic coastal panic grass Atlantic coastal panic grass (Panicum amarum 'Dewey Blue')

Substitutions for Solidago sempervirens

Stiff goldenrod Stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida)