Flat-top Goldentop

Flat-top Goldentop
Flat-top Goldentop. Euthamia graminifolia, formerly Solidago graminifolia
Asteraceae, the daisy, sunflower, or composite family.

Plant: Upright, mostly smooth, terminally branching stem, 2'-4', with numerous narrow leaves topped by loose, rounded clusters of small, yellow flower heads.
Flowers: Small, yellow heads about 1/4" long, with 10-20 ray flowers and 8-12 disk flowers, in rounded terminal clusters (panicles) containing both small leaves and flowers.
Leaves: Alternate, linear to lanceolate, narrow and pointed, 2"-4" long, with mostly smooth margins. Mostly with three, sometimes five veins.
Fruit: Dry, seed-like, on downy hairs.
Blooming: August-October
Habitat: Old fields, roadsides, sometimes brushy areas with woody plants.

Comments: This plant was formerly classed with the goldenrods (genus Solidago); recent genetic studies made the case for a new genus. The new common name, Goldentop, was created at the same time. The plant is also known as Flat-top Goldenrod, Lance-leaf Goldenrod (though another species, S. lancifolia, native to the Southeastern US is more often called that) and Grass-leaf Goldenrod. Very common in our area, growing mixed with Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), though not usually in such dense stands.

Where to find it: Scattered in open areas throughout the park, often in association with the more common Canada Goldenrod.