Pine Barren Bog Goldenrod
Solidago stricta Ait. (revised narrow sense; synonym, S. perlonga Fern.) is native to the pine barrens of southern New Jersey, the low wet sandy thickets of southeastern Virginia, and a few disjunct locations further south. Semple (2013) noted the misapplication of the name in multiple publications to what is correctly labeled S. virgata Michx. Under the name S. perlonga, it was incorrectly treated as a synonym of S. stricta ssp. gracillima in FNA (Semple & Cook 2006 FNA). The species is very different from S. gracillima which occurs in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida and has a very different looking large inflorescence. Plants of S. stricta in the new narrow sense were included in S. stricta sensu Gray (1882) in some floras accounting for a distribution from New Jersey to Florida and west to Texas and Mexico. Semple (2012) noted the reduced distribution of S. stricta but incorrectly used the synonym S. perlonga. The species labeled S. stricta in Semple (2012) is S. virgata. And yes, this change in application of the name is unfortunate and most confusing even if one does pay attention to the sense labels and authority names.
Solidago stricta was included among the species in a multivariate analysis of the six species S. stricta complex (Semple et al. 2016). Based on the results of the analysis, the range of S. stricta was extended to South Carolina and likely near Tallahassee, Florida.
Solidago stricta Ait. (non auth.) has serrate basal rosette and lower stem leaves like S. austrina. The inflorescences of tall robust shoots have elongated ascending to ascending-arching branches, while small shoots from the same rhizome can have short, narrow inflorescences like those of S. virgata. New Jersey collections of the species from the 1800s are small and S. virgata-like. In the multivariate study by Semple et al. (2016), robust plants of S. stricta were statistically distinct from S. virgata and S. austrina, but those with small shoots and short inflorescences were either weakly included in S. stricta (new sense) or assigned to S. virgata even when the small shoot was known to be from the same individual as a large shoot assigned to S. stricta. To obtain the correct identification, it is important to note that inflorescences of the most robust plants seen can be broad and long-branching if one collects only the smaller plants with small inflorescences (Semple 2012). Only some of the collections from the Carolinas had large long-branched inflorescences.
Solidago stricta (as correctly applied) is hexaploid (2n=54).
Coastal New Jersey plants of S. uliginosa with longer-branched inflorescences can be confused with S. stricta. In Torrey & Gray's Flora of North America (1842), S. uliginosa was treated as a synonym under an early misapplication of the name S. stricta due to labeling error of a Canadian arctic specimen by Solander seen by Aiton (Gray 1882).