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Solidago odora (anise scented goldenrod)
Species Distribution Map: Click to enlarge
Map Color Key © 2013 BONAP

Solidago odora

anise scented goldenrod or sweet goldenrod

Wonderfully fragrant leaves give off an anise scent when crushed, reminiscent of licorice candy! The lance-shaped leaves are a glossy, smooth dark green. S. odora has a tidy, clump-forming habit and is not weedy or aggressive in the garden. Attracts butterflies, bees, ladybugs, lacewings and other beneficial insects. Its high ecologial value and handsome appearance make it a valuable addition to wildflower gardens, meadows and naturalistic borders.

Solidago odora LP50 - 50 per flat Availability
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2-4 Feet


1-2 Feet


12-18 Inches

Bloom Color


USDA Hardiness Zone 4-9

anise scented goldenrod Interesting Notes

Solidago odora is covered in plume-like gold flowers from late August to September. The lanceolate, rough foliage grows upright, about 2-4’ tall and 2’ wide, and earns its moniker by the anise scent when the foliage is crushed. Traditionally used in teas, sweet goldenrod is a wonderful addition to the garden, tolerating a wide variety of soil types from heavy clay to sandy soils.

Anise-scented goldenrod grows in thin soils of savannas, pinelands, and dry woods from Texas to Florida, north to Missouri, and east to New Hampshire and New York. Performing well in full sun to light shade and average to sandy, poor soils, Solidago odora is adaptable. It is generally very pest and disease resistant. Unlike other plants in the genus, S. odora is well-behaved, spreading slowly by creeping rhizomes or seed but nowhere as aggressively as S. canadensis and its ilk. Once established, it is drought-tolerant.

Goldenrod is a favorite for many pollinator species. S. odora attracts butterflies, bees, ladybugs, lacewings and other beneficial insects. Additionally, it is a larval host plant for a native leaf beetle, leafhoppers, and several flies. Adding this plant in conjunction with other goldenrod can lengthen your blooming season, prolong pollinator nectar sources, and provide habitat. Small birds such as goldfinches and Indigo buntings enjoy the seeds and the foliage is necessary forage for young woodland animals. 

Solidago odora Growing and Maintenance Tips

Best in full sun but will grow in light shade. Performs well in sandy soils and tolerates clay soils. Drought tolerant. Its high ecological value and handsome appearance make it a valuable addition to wildflower gardens, meadows and naturalistic borders.

Good Substitutions

flat-top goldenrod Solidago graminifolia
autumn goldenrod Solidago sphacelata 'Golden Fleece'
goldenrod Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks'
goldenrod Solidago 'Solar Cascade'

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Sun
Full Sun
Part Sun
Part Sun
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Cut Flower
Cut Flower
Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant

Additional Information

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