Solidago erecta Banks ex Pursh occurs in the Appalachian Mts. and Piedmont and adjacent areas from southeastern Massachusetts west to southern Indiana and south Georgia and northern Mississippi (Semple and Cook 2006). It has been included in S. speciosa in the broad sense, but is more similar in many traits to S. bicolor, S. hispida, S. roanensis, and S. sciaphila. Stems are glabrous from the base to near or into the inflorescence. Fruits are usually glabrous. The species is known only at the diploid level 2n=18.
Semple et al. (2017a) included S. erecta in a multivariate study of the S. speciosa complex. Semple et al. (2017b) included S. erecta in a multivariate study of the S. bicolor complex along with S. hispida, S. porteri, S. roanensis, and S. sciaphila. In both studies, S. erecta was found to be distinct from the other taxa included.