Stems are slender and can be singular or several; usually erect. Blooms June through December, depending on species. Flowers are in golden clusters spiraling or alternating along the upper portion of stems or branching near the top into smaller, flower-bearing branchlets. Each yellow (rarely white) “flower” is a tiny composite, structurally similar to a daisy or sunflower. Leaves are alternate along the stem and are usually linear (very narrow, like grass) or lance-shaped, and usually with a pointed tip. The higher on the stalk, the smaller the leaves.
There are more than 20 species of goldenrods in Missouri. Sometimes they’re a little hard to “identify to species.” As a group, however, the goldenrods are common and nearly unmistakable.