Synonyms: Other names: smooth 3-ribbed goldenrod Nomenclature: gigantea = very large Nativity / Invasiveness: Montana native plant
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General: plant 30-150 cm tall. Growth habit: erect perennial from creeping rhizomes, without any well developed stem base. Stems: single, leafy, short-hairy in the flower cluster, otherwise hairless and covered with waxy coating.
Leaves: alternate, numerous, largest near middle of stem, hairless, only slightly reduced upwards, narrowly lance-shaped, tapering to the stalkless base, 3-nerved, sharply toothed to entire, the larger ones 5-15 cm long and 5-22 mm wide. Lower stem leaves reduced and soon withering.
Flowerheads: yellow with 10-17 rays, commonly about 13, 1-3 mm long. Heads numerous in dense, showy, pyramidal clusters with ascending to downward-curved branches. Involucre 2-4 mm high, its bracts thin and gradually narrowed to blunt tips.
Fruits: short-hairy achenes, with pappus of white, hair-like bristles.
Moist, usually open places in the valleys and plains in w., c. and s. parts of MT. Also from s. B.C. to OR and NM, and e. to Quebec and GA.
The leaves and blossoms of giant goldenrod have medicinal properties that have been used as a powerful purgative or laxative, for checking bleeding by contracting blood vessels, and has an agent that causes tissue to contract. They are a valuable remedy in the treatment of all kinds of hemorrhages. The Forest Potawatomi Indians used a tea of the blossoms to treat various fevers as well.
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