Riverbank Goldenrod

Solidago racemosa Greene

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Dicotyledoneae (Dicots)
Asteraceae (Aster Family)
State Protection
Listed as Endangered by New York State: in imminent danger of extirpation in New York. For animals, taking, importation, transportation, or possession is prohibited, except under license or permit. For plants, removal or damage without the consent of the landowner is prohibited.
Federal Protection
Not Listed
State Conservation Status Rank
Critically Imperiled in New York - Especially vulnerable to disappearing from New York due to extreme rarity or other factors; typically 5 or fewer populations or locations in New York, very few individuals, very restricted range, very few remaining acres (or miles of stream), and/or very steep declines.
Global Conservation Status Rank
Vulnerable globally (most likely) - Conservation status of the subspecies/variety is uncertain, but most likely at moderate risk of extinction due to rarity or other factors; typically 80 or fewer populations or locations in the world, few individuals, restricted range, few remaining acres (or miles of stream), and/or recent and widespread declines. More information is needed to assign a firm conservation status. (The species as a whole is common globally.)


State Ranking Justification

There are 2 verified occurrences. 2 historical occurrences in the New York State Atlas, House describes it in his 1924 list as from occurring in northern New York State and the Adirondacks.

Short-term Trends


Conservation and Management



This taxon belongs to a group which is the subject of recent taxonomic revisions. As defined in New York, this variety has been found on cliffs, ledges, and rocky slopes on or near mountain summits. Of the two known sites, one has acidic bedrock and the other appears to have some calcareous influence. The populations occur from 1250 to 2600 feet; despite its name, this taxon is not a member of the true alpine flora (New York Natural Heritage Program 2011). Calcareous rocks, ledges and cliffs along rivers (FNA 2006). Plants mostly of rivershores (Haines and Vining 1998).

Associated Ecological Communities

  • Cliff community (guide)
    A community that occurs on vertical exposures of resistant, non-calcareous bedrock (such as quartzite, sandstone, or schist) or consolidated material; these cliffs often include ledges and small areas of talus.
  • Northern white cedar rocky summit* (guide)
    A community that occurs on cool, dry, rocky ridgetops and summits where the bedrock is calcareous (such as limestone or dolomite), and the soils are more or less calcareous. The vegetation may be sparse or patchy, with numerous rock outcrops. The species have predominantly boreal distributions.
  • Pitch pine-oak-heath rocky summit (guide)
    A community that occurs on warm, dry, rocky ridgetops and summits where the bedrock is non-calcareous (such as quartzite, sandstone, or schist), and the soils are more or less acidic. This community is broadly defined and includes examples that may lack pines and are dominated by scrub oak and/or heath shrubs apparently related to fire regime.
  • Rocky summit grassland* (guide)
    A grassland community that occurs on rocky summits and exposed rocky slopes of hills. Woody plants are sparse and may be scattered near the margin of the community. Small trees and shrubs may be present at low percent cover.

* probable association but not confirmed.

Associated Species

  • Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
  • Danthonia spicata (poverty grass)
  • Deschampsia flexuosa
  • Diervilla lonicera (bush-honeysuckle)
  • Helianthus divaricatus (woodland sunflower)
  • Juniperus communis
  • Lechea intermedia (large-podded pinweed)
  • Polytrichum juniperinum
  • Pteridium aquilinum
  • Quercus rubra (northern red oak)
  • Solidago bicolor (silver-rod)
  • Vaccinium angustifolium (common lowbush blueberry)


New York State Distribution

Essex County.

Identification Comments

Best Life Stage for Proper Identification

This species is most easily identified when in flower.

Best Time to See

This taxon starts to flower in early August and continues through mid-September depending on altitude. Since it is easiest to see this species when it is in full flower the best time to survey for this species is from August through mid-September, surveying lower elevations first.

  • Flowering
  • Fruiting

The time of year you would expect to find Riverbank Goldenrod flowering and fruiting in New York.


Riverbank Goldenrod
Solidago racemosa Greene

  • Kingdom Plantae
    • Phylum Anthophyta
      • Class Dicotyledoneae (Dicots)
        • Order Asterales
          • Family Asteraceae (Aster Family)


  • Solidago simplex ssp. randii var. racemosa (Greene) Ringius
  • Solidago simplex var. racemosa (Greene) Kartesz & Gandhi
  • Solidago spathulata ssp. randii var. racemosa (Greene) Gleason

Additional Resources


Fernald, M.L. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. 8th edition. D. Van Nostrand, New York. 1632 pp.

Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2006b. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 20. Magnoliophyta: Asteridae, part 7: Asteraceae, part 2. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxii + 666 pp.

Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

Holmgren, Noel. 1998. The Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

Kartesz, John T. 1994. A synonomized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada and Greenland. Volume 1-Checklist. Volume 2-Thesaurus.

Mitchell, Richard S. 1986. A checklist of New York State plants. Bulletin No. 458. New York State Museum. 272 pp.

New York Natural Heritage Program. 2024. New York Natural Heritage Program Databases. Albany, NY.

Weldy, T. and D. Werier. 2010. New York flora atlas. [S.M. Landry, K.N. Campbell, and L.D. Mabe (original application development), Florida Center for Community Design and Research http://www.fccdr.usf.edu/. University of South Florida http://www.usf.edu/]. New York Flora Association http://newyork.plantatlas.usf.edu/, Albany, New York


About This Guide

Information for this guide was last updated on: August 10, 2011

Please cite this page as:
New York Natural Heritage Program. 2024. Online Conservation Guide for Solidago racemosa. Available from: https://guides.nynhp.org/riverbank-goldenrod/. Accessed June 21, 2024.