Skunk or Blue Ridge Goldenrod

Solidago spithamaea M. A. Curtis ex A. Gray occurs in rock crevices of exposed outcrops at the highest elevations in the Appalachian Mts. in North Carolina and Tennessee.  Plants can have a slight skunkish odor.

Solidago spithamaea range draft JCS

Solidago spithamaea is listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The species is extant at only three locations; all other known populations were extirpated. It is in the Center for Plant Conservation’s National Collection of Endangered Plants (Semple and Cook 2006).

The species is a hexaploid (2n=54).  It seems likely that it is a derivative of S. multiradiata and evolved from plants left behind in the southern Appalachians as the Wisconsin Glaciation retreated north.