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Solidago sphacelata 'Golden Fleece' (goldenrod)

Solidago sphacelata 'Golden Fleece'

goldenrod or autumn goldenrod

Another fantastic Mt. Cuba introduction. A stunning show of sprays of golden yellow flowers from mid-August through September. Semievergreen heart-shaped leaves. Truly an excellent groundcover and bee and butterfly charmer! Hairstreaks, sulphurs and skippers are particularly attracted to goldenrod. Monarchs visit it during their autumn migration.

SIZE
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Height

18-24 Inches

Spread

24-36 Inches

Spacing

18 Inches

Bloom Color

Yellow

USDA Hardiness Zone 4-9

goldenrod Interesting Notes

Introduced by Mt. Cuba in the late 80s, Solidago sphacelata ‘Golden Fleece’ was a chance seedling found in Eden, North Carolina and brought to Dr. Richard Lighty for Mt. Cuba’s evaluation. Displaying a stunning show of sprays of golden yellow flowers from mid-August through September, ‘Golden Fleece’ is a compact goldenrod, growing up to 20” tall and spreading to 36” over five years. The semi-evergreen heart-shaped leaves are blue-green in color and are a truly an excellent unconventional groundcover. Very durable, drought-resistant, and long-lived in the garden, it brings late-season splendor when other perennials begin to fade. When ‘Golden Fleece’ was introduced to Europe, it took their gardens by storm and won the Internationale Stauden-Union’s Award for an outstanding new plant in Switzerland in 1994.

Solidago sphacelata is native to calcareous woodlands and rocky pastures from Virginia to Illinois and south to Kentucky and Georgia. Autumn goldenrod grows best in somewhat fertile, sandy, well-drained soils in full sun. It is tolerant of a wide range of conditions, from part shade and dry soil to moist soil in full sun but performs best in average garden soil. To receive a second show, cut back flowers after blooming to encourage rebloom.

Solidago sphacelata ‘Golden Fleece’ looks well in butterfly and wild gardens or as a groundcover or border perennial. It is a bee and butterfly charmer! Hairstreaks, sulphurs and skippers are particularly attracted to goldenrod. Monarchs visit it during their autumn migration. We love showing ‘Golden Fleece’ as an edging plant in a perennial border – the clean, green foliage smothers weeds in the summer and puts on a lovely display in the fall!

Solidago sphacelata 'Golden Fleece' Growing and Maintenance Tips

Prefers somewhat fertile, sandy, well-drained soils in full sun. Propagate by seed or division every 3-4 years. Cut back to encourage rebloom. Used in butterfly and wild gardens or as a groundcover or border perennial.

Good Substitutions

goldenrod Solidago 'Solar Cascade'
grass-leaved goldenrod Solidago graminifolia
goldenrod Solidago Little Lemon® 'Dansolitlem'
anise scented goldenrod Solidago odora

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Sun
Full Sun
Part Sun
Part Sun
Moist
Moist
Songbird-friendly
Songbird-friendly
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Pollinator-friendly
Pollinator-friendly
Groundcover
Groundcover
Cut Flower
Cut Flower
Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Average
Dry
Plug Type
Horticultural Plug
Attributes
Clay Tolerance
Native to North America
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Late Summer
Fall
Propagation Type
Vegetative