Solidago houghtonii
Houghton's goldenrod
Image of Solidago houghtonii

Photo by Susan R. Crispin 

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Key Characteristics

Medium-sized forb of northern Great Lakes shorelines; leaves narrow (less than 1 cm wide) and folded along the midrib, tapering to a slightly clasping base; inflorescence flat-topped with large (1 cm wide), showy, yellow flower heads bearing elongated rays (3-5 mm).

Status and Rank

  • State Status: T
  • US Status: LT
  • State Rank: S3
  • Global Rank: G3


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Presque Isle62005
Distribution map for Solidago houghtonii

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Houghton's goldenrod is found mostly within the Straits region, usually occurring near shore in linear interdunal areas and former embayments. It also inhabits alvar and bedrock beaches.

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

Twig-rush, spike-rush, beak-rush, sweet gale, shrubby cinquefoil, Kalm's St John's-wort, bluejoint grass, small fringed gentian, bog lobelia, Ohio goldenrod, false asphodel, horned bladderwort, dune grass, sand cherry, grass pink, grass-leaved goldenrod, and grass-of-Parnassus.


This species requires protection of habitat and maintenance of natural dune processes (e.g. shoreline fluctuation, erosion, sand deposition, wind, water level fluctuation, sand movement) that create the necessary microsites. Protect habitat from residential development. Prevent or remove invasive species. Vulnerable to ORV damage and also excessive foot traffic.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgment of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at [Accessed Aug 16, 2018]

More Information

See MNFI Species Abstract


Survey References

Technical References

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