This plant is called zigzag goldenrod because the stem is sometimes crooked, zigzagging from leaf to leaf. However, as you can see from the second photo below, the stem is sometimes virtually straight.
- Family: aster (Asteraceae)
- Habitat: woods, especially rich woods
- Height: 1-3 feet
- Flower size: flowerheads approximately 1/8 inch across
- Flower color: yellow
- Flowering time: July to October
- Origin: native
A distinguishing feature of zigzag goldenrod is that the flowers are in the leaf axils -- a group of flowers emerges just above each leaf on the upper part of the stem, as indicated by the arrows. Bluestem goldenrod also has flowers in the leaf axils, but its overall appearance make it unlikely to be confused with zigzag goldenrod. In most other goldenrods, the flowers are clustered at the end of the stem, above the major leaves.