Alpine Goldenrod is widespread in the Alpine region. It is a sibling of the Common Goldenrod, which is also native to Switzerland and is mainly found at lower altitudes. The other neophytic goldenrod species that grow here are partly invasive and very competitive, which means they pose a risk to native species.
The Alpine Goldenrod is a perennial plant that grows to a height of 6–40 cm. It has lanceolate foliage and its inflorescence consists of several flower heads with golden yellow tubular and ligulate ray flowers. After the flowers have faded, the pappus remains. This is a calyx of hairs that enables the seeds to become airborne and be spread by the wind.
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Alpine Goldenrod is a member of the Solidago genus, which is derived from the Latin “to make whole” or “to heal”. Goldenrod was traditionally used as a medicinal plant, especially to treat problems relating to the urinary tract and kidneys. The species name virgaurea (virga aurea) means “golden rod”. The famous Swiss doctor and botanist Albrecht von Haller used the plants to make his famous tea.
The Alpine Goldenrod grows in the mountains of Europe and North Africa. In Switzerland, it is found in the Alps and at the edge of the Alps, as well as in the Jura Mountains where it grows in stony meadows and pastures. The species is widespread on the Gornergrat.