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Solidago velutina ssp. californica ‘California Goldenrod’ (CA Native)

S. californica coming into bloom at the nursery in early October

As we near the end of summer, most garden flowers are heading into winter dormancy, but Solidago velutina ssp. californica ‘California Goldenrod’ is getting ready to put on a lively display!

Cheerful clusters of golden-yellow daisies bloom on slender, wand-like stalks in late summer and fall. This showy native is sure to enliven the garden and add vibrant color. S. californica has lovely blue-green foliage with narrow, lance-shaped leaves. The leafy stems rise from tough, woody rootstocks and is fast-spreading. It can become invasive, so keep this in mind when selecting a location for planting. This native perennial herb can be found growing in many different settings from open, grassy meadows, to foothill woodlands and subalpine forests.

A close up of the blooms!

S. californica is drought tolerant and easy to care for, tolerating a variety of soil types. It is happiest in full sun, part shade, or full shade depending on location. Water in well, then about three times a month once established. It thrives with infrequent, but deep waterings. This encourages plant roots to travel deeper in search of water. Frequent, shallow watering keeps the roots closer to the surface, and therefore, makes the plant less tolerant in drier conditions. In the spring, keep this plant well-watered and ease off watering in summer. This mimics the natural climate patterns that helps S. californica bloom most profusely towards the end of summer. Deadhead spent flowers at the end of the blooming season. At full maturity, this plant can grow 1-4’H x 2-3’W.

S. californica at the nursery getting ready to bloom! (pictured above)

Since it spreads by rootstocks, it makes a great groundcover and can also be useful for banks and slopes to help prevent erosion. Birds and pollinating insects love this plant, making it perfect as a border for bee or butterfly gardens. Since it’s well suited for meadows and oak woodlands, it combines well with other companion plants like California fuchsia, native grasses, sages, yarrow, and penstemon. It is salt tolerant, wind resistant, and deer resistant.

The Sunset Western Garden Zones are: 1-11, 14-23

We are currently growing Solidago velutina ssp. californica ‘California Goldenrod’ in 1 gallon containers.


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