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Zigzag Goldenrod is a rhizomatous perennial that is native to eastern U.S. and Canada. This plant is in the asteraceae family. Although it is not well known as an edible plant it has a history of medicinal used. Frances Densmore, (1867 to 1957), was an ethnologist, who reported that the Chippewa used various species of Goldenrod for treating a variety of ailments. Most noteworthy was that this plant's root was chewed for toothaches.
This is a perennial wildflower with upright unbranched stems. This goldenrod species is distinguished by its zigzag stems and its toothed, broad-ovate leaves. From late summer into autumn these plants have elongated yellow flower clusters. Smaller axillary flower racemes develop lower on the stem. Zigzag goldenrods are adaptable and quite tough. They thrive in part sun or part shade locations and in moist well-drained soils.
Flowers appear in small, axillary clusters on the upper parts of the stems and stem ends. They bloom from mid-summer to autumn. Each flowerhead is 6mm (¼”) across with 3 to 4 ray florets and 4 to 8 disc florets. In autumn the florets mature into bullet shaped achenes.
Leaves are 5 to 12cm (2 to 5”) long and 2 to 10cm (1 to 4”) across with (somewhat) winged petioles. Ovate to lanceolate shaped leaves with coarsely toothed edges. Leaves are alternate, gradually becoming smaller as the stems rise.
It typically grows upright to 61 to 100cm (2 to 3') tall, but in some locations it can reach 1.21 metres (4') tall. Stems are sometimes but not always in a zigzag shape.
Zigzag goldenrods prefer rich deciduous woodlands, often on protected wooded slopes facing north or east, in low areas along woodland streams, and shaded limestone cliffs. It can be found from North Dakota south to Louisiana, throughout central and eastern U.S. and Canada.
According to PFAF the leaves can be used as tea and the seeds are edible.
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