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Plants of dry woods, open woods or clearings; sandy or rocky ground, where competing vegetation is sparse.  Flowers late August to late September.  Native..

Perennials. Typical height is from 3 to 4 feet.  Stems are solitary or clustered from a branched caudex or from short rhizomes, and are conspicuously pubescent with spreading hairs.

The inflorescence is open, with few ascending branches, or sometimes unbranched (then wand-like).

Flower heads are radiate, not arranged one-sided on branches.  Ray and disc floret corollas are typically white; however forms with pale yellow florets occur (rarely).  These may be possible hybrids with closely-related yellow-flowered species.  Other than corolla color, they are similar to the typical white-flowered forms.

Basal and lower stem leaves may be persistent at flowering.  They are obovate or oblanceolate in outline, toothed, and borne on winged petiolesMid- to upper stem leaves rapidly become smaller and narrower upwards.  The uppermost leaves become oblanceolate or elliptic, and transition to untoothed margins. 

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Similar species:  In central New York, Solidago bicolor is unique and distinctive.  However state-wide, S. bicolor is most similar to Solidago hispida, which differs primarily by having yellow florets.  The latter was once considered a variety of S. bicolorSericocarpus asteroides is also similar to Solidago bicolor.  Refer to the discussion on the Sericocarpus page for comparisons.

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