Solidago spathulata DC. is scattered in isolated dune and headland populations along the coast of central and north California, Oregon and Washington. The surface resin typical of subsect. Humiles is particularly copious in this species. A narrow interpretation of the species is accepted here following G. S. Ringius (1985). The species is diploid 2n=18 (Peirson et al. 2012). (See Semple & Cook 2006 FNA).
Semple et al. (2019) presented a multivariate analysis of all 13 species of S. subsect. Humiles and found S. spathulata to be distinct from all other species by having obviously multi-serrate middle and upper stem leaves and being very glutinous-resinous over much of the plant.