[Goldenrods Found East of the Cascade Mts.]

Western Goldenrod

Euthamia occidentalis

formerly Solidago occidentalis

The photo above shows a close-up of the flower heads of western goldenrod as seen along a small creek several miles west of Biggs, OR in the eastern Columbia River Gorge...................October 7, 2006.
The photo at right shows the upper stems of western goldenrod. Note that it is well branched and that the inflorescence is relatively flat-topped.

Characteristics:

Western goldenrod is a perennial wildflower with erect, much-branched stems arising from 50-200 cm high. The branches are glabrous (lacking hairs) and generally ascend or are nearly upright. The numerous leaves are sessile and narrowly linear in outline with 3 nerves or veins. They measure from 6-10 cm long and are at most 1 cm wide. The lower leaves are deciduous by the time plants bloom.

The inflorescence is a leafy, compact to open set of corymbiform panicles. The outline as viewed from the side appears slightly rounded to flat-topped. The yellowish or pale green involucre of individual flowers is about 4 mm high and somewhat glandular. The involucral bracts are narrow with acute tips. The 15-30 ray flowers are yellow in color and measure 1.5-2.5 mm long. They surround a narrow yellow disk which consists of fewer disk flowers.

Western goldenrod is probably one of the easier goldenrods to identify. Key characteristics include the much branched stems with the flat-topped inflorescence and narrow, entire-margined leaves.

Habitat:

Western goldenrod may be found in damp ground along rivers and streams in the lower valleys and plains.


Range:

Western goldenrod may be found from southern British Columbia south to California and east to Alberta and south to Nebraska and New Mexico.


The photo above shows the long, linear leaves of western goldenrod.

The photo above shows what appears to be western goldenrod as seen in riparian areas at the northern edge of the Zumwalt Prairie in northeastern Oregon....................July 9, 2007.

Paul Slichter