Species At Risk

Riddell’s Goldenrod

(Solidago riddellii)

Special Concern

Riddell’s Goldenrod
Riddell’s Goldenrod occurrences map


Riddell’s Goldenrod belongs to the well-known group of wildflowers in the Aster family that produce showy, yellow flowers mostly in late summer. This perennial plant produces flat-topped to rounded flower clusters made up of approximately 30 to 450 tiny flowering heads. The stems grow singly or in small bunches from a thickened base, and can reach up to a metre in height. The narrow leaves tend to curve back and downward and those at or near the base of the plant are folded along the middle vein.

Action we are taking:


Riddell’s Goldenrod range extends across the midwest United States, from Ohio west to South Dakota and south to Arkansas. In Canada, populations are restricted to southwestern Ontario and southeastern Manitoba.


Riddell’s Goldenrod prefers open tallgrass prairie habitat with moist to wet calcium-rich soils. In Ontario, it also occurs in roadside ditches and along railway right-of-ways.


In Canada, the conversion of prairie habitat to farmland and urban development has contributed to Riddell’s Goldenrod’s decline. Some populations along abandoned railway lines are threatened by a combination of recreational use such as hiking, and natural succession by other plants.


Riddell’s Goldenrod is listed as a species of Special Concern under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act. Although species of Special Concern do not receive legal protection under this act, a few populations of Riddell’s Goldenrod receive limited protection because they are on public lands.

What You Can Do to Help Riddell’s Goldenrod

  • The Ministry of Natural Resources tracks species at risk such as Riddell’s Goldenrod. You can use a handy online form to report your sightings to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Photographs with specific locations or mapping coordinates are always helpful. nhic.mnr.gov.on.ca
  • Report any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).
  • Private land owners have a very important role to play in species recovery. You may be eligible for stewardship programs that support the protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats.
  • Volunteer with your local nature club or provincial park to participate in surveys or stewardship work focused on species at risk.
  • Riddell’s Goldenrod and many other species at risk depend on healthy grassland prairies, a very rare habitat in Ontario. Learn more about these habitats, the species that depend on them, and what you can do to help at www.tallgrassontario.org.

Did you know?

Riddell’s Goldenrod has the potential to self-pollinate but it is primarily an out-breeder, pollinated by a variety of flies, bees, wasps, and moths.

Did you know?

Riddell’s Goldenrod survives as an underground woody stem during winter. Seeds are dispersed by the wind, but plants may also reproduce by sending up shoots from the underground stem.

The Endangered Species Act

Contact your local ministry office

Often the best source of local information on species at risk is your nearest ministry office. Call with your questions or concerns.