Many people think of Goldenrod as a plant that lives in sunny fields and flowers in wands or plumes at the top of tall stems. There are a number of Goldenrods that do not fit this description, however.
Zigzag Goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis) is a woodland Goldenrod growing only 2-3′ tall. Flowers bloom in clusters along the upper parts of the stem. It does best in part shade with at least moderate moisture, but can tolerate dry soils.
Zigzag Goldenrod has rhizomes that can wander far and wide under the right conditions. It can also self-sow, though I haven’t noticed that nearly as much. For this reason, I would recommend it for more naturalized areas, like our Back Garden’s Thicket Corner.
It’s a plant that does excel at adding bright color to shady spots in early fall.
Like others of its genus, Zigzag Goldenrod is beloved by pollinators, as the 2 bumblebees above will attest. Its native range includes most of eastern North America (as far west as North Dakota and Texas).
And remember: Goldenrod does not cause allergies.
Zigzag Goldenrod might be worth adding to an informal, shaded corner of your garden.