Solidago flexicaulis, Zig Zag Goldenrod

Zig Zag Aster, in bloom

Many don't think of Goldenrod when they think of shady woodlands, yet Zig Zag Goldenrod is one of the great plants of our deciduous forest. It offers yellow flowers in late summer and early autumn, has attractive leaves all season, and can grow in the shade and dry soils under our woodland trees. Zig Zag isn't at all similar to some of the sunny field varieties, like Canada Goldenrod. Instead, it rarely grow taller than 28 inches, isn't an aggressive spreader (although like all plants, it will spread), and once again, grows in dry shade. If you have woodlands, this is a species worth planting along with Downy Yellow Violet, Virginia Wetleaf, Hepatica, Bloodroot, Woodland Geranium, Pennsylvania Sedge, Common Wood Sedge, Hairy Wood Sedge, Columbine, Bellwort, Bigleaf Aster, Doll's Eyes and many more.

Blooms: yellow, August through September

Height: 2 to 3 feet

Conditions: part shade to shade, upland medium to medium dry soil

Attractive leaves and good form; here, just before bloom.

Zig Zag Aster patch at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.