Stiff Goldenrod (Rigidum)

The Stiff Goldenrod (Rigidum) is generally described as a perennial forb/herb. This is native to the U.S. (United States) has its most active growth period in the spring and summer . The Stiff Goldenrod (Rigidum) has green foliage and inconspicuous yellow flowers, with an abuncance of conspicuous brown fruits or seeds. The greatest bloom is usually observed in the late summer, with fruit and seed production starting in the summer and continuing until fall. Leaves are not retained year to year. The Stiff Goldenrod (Rigidum) has a moderate life span relative to most other plant species and a rapid growth rate. At maturity, the typical Stiff Goldenrod (Rigidum) will reach up to 3.6 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of 0 inches.

The Stiff Goldenrod (Rigidum) is not commonly available from nurseries, garden stores and other plant dealers and distributors. It can be propagated by bare root, seed, sprigs. It has a slow ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have medium vigor. Note that cold stratification is not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below -43°F. has high tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.

Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.

Stiff goldenrod can be used for roadside plantings, wildlife food and habitat, and wildflower gardens because of its attractive bright yellow flowers, and as a small component of seeding mixtures for prairie restoration.

General Characteristics

Stiff goldenrod is a native perennial recognized by its broad, flat-topped inflorescence (cluster of flowers). The plant is a member of the Asteraceae, or aster family. It attains a height of over one meter. It flowers during the fall. The goldenrod flowers are like miniature asters and are all yellow. They are arranged in an inflorescence which is about 15 cm across and flat across the top. The leaves of goldenrod are stiff, rough textured and are alternately arranged on the stem. The leaves on the lower part of the plant are oblong and have short petioles. The upper leaves are lance-shaped and stalkless; there are also longer basal leaves that overwinter.

Stiff goldenrod is more palatable than other members of the goldenrod group but is still infrequently grazed. It behaves in a prairie as an invader, i.e. it tends to come into pastures in greater amount when the prairie has been weakened by grazing

Required Growing Conditions

Goldenrod grows in prairies and dry woods from Massachusetts to Saskatchewan, south to Texas and Georgia.For a current distribution map, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Website.

Cultivation and Care

Prepare a clean weed free seedbed by disking and harrowing. Firm the seedbed by cultipacking. The seedbed should be firm enough to allow the seed to be planted ¼ inch deep. A seeder with a legume box works well in the seeding operation, although other types of seeders or drills may be used. Stiff goldenrod is easily propagated from seed. Seed sown in spring will produce transplants in one season. For permanent plantings, use transplants in fall or spring. Plants are largely cross-pollinated.Fertilizer: Apply no fertilizer during the establishment year unless soil test indicates a severe deficiency of potassium and/or phosphorus. Use no nitrogen during the establishment year as this can encourage weed competition.Seeding Rates: Adequate seeding rates for stiff goldenrod should be about ¼ pound of pure live seed (PLS) in a mixture. One pound (PLS) per acre is sufficient for seed production plantings. There are approximately 770,000 clean seeds in one pound of stiff goldenrod.Seeding Dates: Sow unstratified seed in the fall, November to March, stratified seed in the spring, April to May.

General Upkeep and Control

Reduce weed competition by mowing at a height that will not affect the goldenrod seedlings. For grassy weed control use Poast herbicide and follow label recommendations, as herbicide weed control will encourage a good stand. Note: This herbicide product may not be registered on this forb species in your state. NRCS does not endorse the use of any product. The staff was aware of only this one product at the time of publication. There may be others available. Refer to product label for specific application information.

Cultivars, Improved, and Selected Materials (and area of origin) Northern Iowa Germplasm stiff goldenrod is a composite from northern Iowa released by the Elsberry, MO Plant Materials Center in 1998.

Plant Basics
Growth Rate Rapid
General Type Forb/herb
Growth Period Spring, Summer
Growth Duration Perennial
Lifespan Moderate
Plant Nativity Native to U.S.
Commercial Availability No Known Source
Physical Characteristics
Bloom Period Late Summer
Displays Fall Colors No
Shape/Growth Form Rhizomatous
Drought Tolerance High
Shade Tolerance Intermediate
Height When Mature 3.6
Vegetative Spread Rapid
Flower Color Yellow
Flower Conspicuousness Yes
Fruit/Seed Abundance High
Fruit/Seed Seasonality Summer Fall
Seed Spread Rate Slow
Gardening Characteristics
Propagations (Ways to Grow) Bare Root, Seed, Sprigs
Moisture Requirements Medium
Cold Stratification Required No
Minimum Temperature -43
Soil Depth for Roots 12
Toxic to Nearby Plants No
Toxic to Livestock No
After-Harvest Regrowth Rate Moderate
After-Harvest Resprout Ability No
Responds to Coppicing No
Growth Requirements
pH Range 5–7.5 pH
Precipitation Range 14–14 inches/yr
Planting Density 4800–11000 indiv./acre
Soil Textures Coarse, Medium
Soil Depth for Roots 12
Minimum Frost-Free Days 80 day(s)
Salinity Tolerance None
CaCO3 Tolerance Medium
Sustainability & Use
Leaf Retention No
Palatability Low
Fire Resistant No
Causes Livestock Bloating None

Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database,
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA