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Solidago caesia (bluestem goldenrod)
Species Distribution Map: Click to enlarge
Map Color Key © 2013 BONAP

Solidago caesia

bluestem goldenrod

This clump forming, non-invasive native perennial boldly displays arching wands of golden clusters in September, contrasted by blue-green stems. Adds life to a dry shady spot. Great with Aster cordifolius and Chasmanthium. Incredible butterfly magnet and cut flower!

Solidago caesia LP50 - 50 per flat Availability
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2-3 Feet


16-20 Inches


12-18 Inches

Bloom Color


USDA Hardiness Zone 4-8

bluestem goldenrod Interesting Notes

Blue-stemmed goldenrod is a beautiful, easy to grow perennial that really shows off in shady as well as sunny areas. The 1-3’ tall garden plant has yellow clusters of flowers that bloom all along the purplish stem in early autumn. It does well in medium to dry, well drained soils and forms attractive open clumps without spreading aggressively. When planted in large numbers, the flowers form streaks of gold shooting off the stems. It performs well with Monarda didymaChrysogonum virginianumEchinacea spp., and Andropogon gerardii. - Mt. Cuba Center

Convincing gardeners to grow goldenrods is a bit like trying to sell Toyotas in Detroit, but I will continue anyway. They are certainly ubiquitous in the fall landscape and are still wrongly accused of causing hayfever. Therefore, it bears repeating that goldenrods, like aster, Joe-Pye, ironweeds, and all the Composites, are insect-pollinated, so their pollen is heavy and sticky in order to facilitate transfer by our six-legged friends. It is the wind-pollinated plants like grasses, ragweed and many trees (I am allergic to maples for example) that produce the great quantities of light, airborne pollen that get into our noses and throats and cause the immune reaction known as hayfever. There are goldenrods for every situation, and if you avoid the aggressively weedy species like S. canadensis (My apologies to Canada) and S. graminifolia, they are agreeable garden subjects at home in the border, meadow, rock, or shade garden. Once I started to learn the different species, I became more and more aware of their subtle differences and convinced of their important role in native ecosystems as soil stabilizers and sources of food and shelter for wildlife. They are beautiful in leaf and flower, too, and no wildflower garden is complete without a few of our hundred or so species scattered around. - William Cullina, The New England Wild Flower Society Guide to Growing and Propagating Wildflowers, p. 197

Solidago caesia Growing and Maintenance Tips

Prefers moist, well-drained soils in part sun to shade. Tolerant of poor, dry soils and is somewhat drought tolerant once established. Propagate by seed or division. Best used at the woodland's edge on in a shaded butterfly or wild garden.

Good Substitutions

zigzag goldenrod Solidago flexicaulis

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Shade
Full Shade
Part Sun
Part Sun
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Plug Type
Landscape Plug™
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Green Infrastructure
Native to North America
Propagation Type
Open pollinated