Solidago speciosa Nutt. is treated in a narrow sense here based on research done in the Astereae Lab post Flora North America (Semple et al. 2017). In FNA, Semple & Cook (2006) included S. jejunifolia, S. pallida, and S. rigidiuscula within S. speciosa. The showy goldenrod retains its large lower stem leaves through flowering. The fruits are glabrous except for a single populations in southern Maine. The other three species, in the S. speciosa complex have very sparsely to moderately hairy fruits. The species includes two ploidy levels; diploids 2n=18 occur east of the Appalachians; tetraploids 2n=36 occur in and west of the Appalachians and in the northeastern part of the range.