Wildflower of the Week by Chick Keller

The yellow flower trend continues. This week, we have not one but three flowers, the three main species of goldenrod (Solidago) found on the Pajarito Plateau: Solidago wrightii (shown in the image above), Solidago simplex, and Solidago velutina.

Wright’s goldenrod (Solidago wrightii) is fuzzy and resembles a many-stemmed, bushy plant with lots of curly leaves growing from the stems.  
I refer to Solidago simplex as smooth goldenrod since the stems are not at all fuzzy. It is mostly a singe- or few-stemmed plant where the flowers form a true golden rod at the top.
Solidago simplex (smooth goldenrod)
Finally, you can find what I call rough goldenrod (Solidago velutina), which has rough hairs on the stems and leaves. The flowers grow in a branching array and often form a pyramid or at least droopy cluster. 
Solidago velutina (rough goldenrod)

Sometimes you can see all three types at the same time in our ponderosa woods.