Southern Bog and Cliff Goldenrod
Solidago simulans Fernald is native to higher elevations in the mountains in southern North Carolina, eastern Tennessee and adjacent Georgia and southwestern Virginia and scattered locations further east on the Piedmont in North Carolina. A few collections from northwestern and south central North Carolina have been treated as S. uliginosa, but are atypical for that species and fit better in S. simulans. These plants would be very atypical in S. austrina. The western populations grow in seepage on granitic cliff tops and slopes; the eastern ones grow in peat-sedge bog habitats. The species is tetraploid 2n=36.
Arthur Cronquist (1980) treated S. simulans as a "broad-leaved extreme of S. gracillima, approaching S. uliginosa." Semple & Cook (2006 FNA) noted under S. uliginosa that S. simulans might warrant recognition as a narrowly distributed endemic, which is done here. Solidago simulans is very similar to S. uliginosa var. uliginosa and would never be confused with S. gracillima. Plants I have seen in the field in Highland Co., North Carolina have larger and more bluish-green basal leaves than S. uliginosa. Semple et al. (2019) compared S. austrina, S. simulans and S. uliginosa in a multivariate study and found support for recognizing all three as separate species.