40. Solidago pulchra Small, Man. S.E. Fl. 1356. 1933.
Plants 20–60(–80) cm, glabrous; caudices short or crowns. Stems 1, erect, slender. Leaves: basal tufted, tapering, petiolate, petioles 20–100 mm, blades oblanceolate or elliptic, 30–120 (including petiole) × 5–15 mm, obtuse to rounded; cauline sessile, blades oblanceolate to linear-lanceolate, 5–80 × 4–1.3 mm, abruptly reduced proximally, becoming bractlike proximal to arrays. Heads 5–20(–50), in slender racemiform or paniculiform arrays, sometimes secund and apically recurved, more often erect and not secund, sometimes compact and somewhat rounded to only slightly elongate. Peduncles 2–25 mm; bracteoles crowded, linear, 1–2 mm, grading into phyllaries. Involucres broadly campanulate, 3.5–5 mm. Phyllaries in 3–4 series, linear-lanceolate, strongly unequal, acute to slightly acuminate or cuspidate, glabrous. Ray florets 6–14; laminae 2–3 × 1–2 mm. Disc florets mostly 12–30; corollas 3.5–4 mm, lobes 0.5–0.75 mm. Cypselae 1.5–2 mm, sparsely finely strigose; pappi (basally broader and flattened, fused to varying lengths) 3–4 mm (somewhat clavate). 2n = 36.
Flowering Sep–Oct. Moist, sandy depressions in pine savannas; 10–20 m; N.C.
Solidago pulchra is a distinct species, not easily confused once seen in the field. It is known only from Brunswick, Pender, and Onslow counties, where it occurs in scattered populations of few to numerous individuals. The basally fused and flattened pappus bristles are very unusual in the genus. Occurrence of the species in South Carolina is unconfirmed.