Southern Bog Goldenrod
Solidago austrina Small is native to bogs, swampy ground and wet depressions and roadside ditches of the Piedmont and rarely the adjacent inner coastal plain in the southeastern U.S. It is characterized by having serrate basal rosette and lower to mid stem leaves and in robust plants inflorescences with elongated spreading, arching lower branches (Semple 2012). Smaller plants with short inflorescences usually lack the elongated lower branches; these are easily confused with S. virgata (S. stricta sensu authors not here) if lower stem leaves are not present.
Solidago austrina has not always been recognized as distinct from S. virgata (S. stricta sensu authors not here) and was incorrectly included in S. stricta ssp. gracillima in FNA (Semple & Cook 2006 FNA), which is here treated as S. gracillima. In a multivariate analysis of the S. stricta complex, Semple et al. (2016) reported strong support for recognizing S. austrina as a separate species. Solidago austrina was included in a multivariate study of the S. uliginosa complex as an "out group" for comparison (Semple et al. 2019).
Solidago austrina is diploid 2n=18 in North Carolina and Georgia and tetraploid 2n=36 in South Carolina, northeastern Alabama, and adjacent Tennessee. Semple and Cook (2022) summarized and mapped the cytogeography of all species in Solidago sect. Maritimae including S. austrina. The ploidy level of the disjunct population in Kentucky is unknown.