Man. S.E. Fl., 1355, 1509. 1933.
Plants 0–180 cm, caudex or slender rhizomes. Stems 1–5+, glabrous, sparsely strigose in arrays. Leaves: basal petiolate; blades broadly elliptic to ovate, 100–350 × 60–120 mm (including petioles), bases truncate to obtuse, apices acute to acuminate, margins sharply serrate, glabrous; distal cauline blades spreading to ascending, linear-elliptic, 30–50 × 6–15 mm. Heads 25–50+, in elongate, paniculiform arrays, proximal branches recurved-secund, sometimes elongate. Peduncles 1.5–3 mm, glabrate to moderately short-hispido-strigose, bracteoles 1–5, linear-lanceolate grading into phyllaries. Involucres campanulate, (4.5–) 5–7 mm (much exceeded by pappi). Phyllaries in 3–4 series, linear-lanceolate, strongly unequal. Ray-florets 4–9; laminae 4–5 × 1.5–2.5 mm. Disc-florets 9–11; corollas 4–5 mm, lobes ca. 1.5 mm. Cypselae (brown, ribs dark-brown) 3 mm, sparsely short-strigose; pappi 3–4 mm. 2n = 54.
Phenology: Flowering Sep–Oct.
Habitat: Sandy soils in xeric places
Elevation: 0–200 m
Ala., Del., Fla., Ga., Md., N.J., N.C., Pa., S.C., Va.
Solidago tarda requires a more xeric environment than S. arguta; it is found mostly on coastal plains. A. Cronquist (1980, citing G. H. Morton, pers. comm.) noted that some plants from northern Florida and southern Georgia had narrower, basally more tapering proximal leaves; some of those plants were tetraploid. The proper taxonomic status of those plants is uncertain.