Solidago odora, Sweet Goldenrod, is an upright, clump-forming perennial wildflower that is indigenous to dry open woods, savannas, piney woods, thickets, old fields and ravines. Tough and adaptable, this goldenrod does best in full sun to partly shaded sites with sandy or average well drained soil. The slender stems, reaching 2 – 4 ft tall, are topped with a spreading pyramidal cluster that is as wide as tall, with 7″ long inflorescence and numerous 1/4″ flowerheads. Though clump-forming, odora will spread by rhizomes though it is not as aggressive as other goldenrods. Like all goldenrods, the bright yellow flowers are an excellent nectar source over its long bloom period from mid-summer to autumn, particularly to butterflies and wasps. The leaves, when bruised, give an anise-scented fragrance and can be used as an herb, while the flower petals, when dried, have also been used for tea.
Photo: W.D. and Dolphia Bransford, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center