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Solidago velutina ssp. californica
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California Goldenrod
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Solidago velutina ssp. californica

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About California Goldenrod (Solidago velutina ssp. californica) California Goldenrod is a native perennial herb that grows in northern, southern and central California. It tends to grow in open grassy places, at elevations from 0-7500 feet. It produces masses of yellow flowers when many other plants are dormant. Birds and pollinating insects love this plant. Grows well in central oak woodlands. It likes to be wet in winter/spring and dry in summer but can take extra water.

It is a spreader from a creeping rootstock and may become invasive, so plant it where it will have plenty of room. Otherwise it is very garden tolerant and easy.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
1.5 - 5 ft (0.46 - 1.5 m)


Growth Rate


Flower Color

Flowering Season
Summer, Fall

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Found in a wide variety of settings and habitats throughout the state, including Chaparral, Coastal Sage Scrub, Fir/Pine Forest, Subalpine Forest, Foothill Woodland, open, grassy places, and disturbed sites

Sun, Part Shade, Full Shade

Elevation ?
-20' - 14090'

Annual Precip. ?
4.8" - 93.7"

Summer Precip. ?
0.13" - 3.85"

Coldest Month ?
10.8° F - 59.2° F

Hottest Month ?
34.1° F - 87.5° F

Humidity ?
0.09 vpd - 38.31 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates a variety of soils

Soil PH
5.5 - 7.0


Sunset Zones ?
1, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7, 8, 9, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*

Companion Plants
Use with complementary flower colors such as Sages (Salvia species), Wild Rose (Rosa californica), Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), and Penstemon species

Wildlife Attracted
Numerous insects are attracted to the flowers

Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Very Low, Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Deadhead if you don't like the look of spent flowers

Common uses
Groundcovers, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Solidago californica

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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