Eared or Clasping (-leaf ) Goldenrod
Solidago auriculata Shuttleworth ex S. F. Blake is the most easily recognized species in the entire genus. The auriculate-clasping leaf bases are unique in Solidago (Semple & Cook 2006 FNA). The illustration of heads clearly shows that the phyllaries can be squarrose. The pappus is shorter than in most goldenrods and the longest bristles are strongly clavate. The pappus features are intermediate between more typical forms like S. arguta and the most derived form of S. sphacelata. The species is native to rocky wooded slopes and alluvial soils near streams in woods scattered across the southeastern U.S. The species is diploid 2n=18.
Solidago auriculata is treated here as the only species in S. ser. Auriculatae Semple related to S. ser. Ulmifoliae (Mackenzie in Small) Semple & J.B. Beck that includes S. ulmifolia, S. delicatula, and S. brachyphylla. These four species are include in S. subsect. Ulmifoliae (Mackenzie in Small) Semple & J.B. Beck of S. sect. Venosae (G. Don in Loudon) Nesom.