Plants 60-120 cm; caudices thick, woody, roots thick. Stems 1-5+, sparsely to moderately short strigose or villous. Leaves: basal withering by flowering, petiolate, smaller to much smaller than cauline, blades oblanceolate, margins serrate; cauline sessile, blades elliptic-lanceolate or -oblanceolate, mid 80-140 × 2.5-4 mm, distally reduced, usually membranous, bases tapering, attenuate, margins sharply toothed along much of length to nearly entire, ciliate, abaxial faces short-pilose along small and large nerves, adaxial short-pilose along larger nerves. Heads 5-160 (2-10+ more per short branch cluster), in narrowly elongate paniculiform arrays, branches usually 1-6 cm (much longer in damaged plants, sometimes 1-3 proximal branches much elongated in undamaged plants), ascending and bearing short terminal racemiform or paniculiform clusters. Peduncles 1-6 mm, moderately canescent; bracteoles linear to lanceolate. Involucres campanulate, 4.5-5.5 mm. Phyllaries in ca. 3 series, strongly unequal, erect to slightly squarrose-tipped, lanceolate, apices acute, glabrate, sparsely to moderately, finely stipitate-glandular. Ray florets 6-8; laminae 3-4 × 1-1.5 mm wide. Disc florets 8-14; corollas 4-5 mm, lobes ca. 1.5 mm. Cypselae (reddish brown) 2-3 mm, glabrous; pappi 4-5 mm.
Flowering Sep. Open oak woods, ridges and slopes, bluffs; 100-300 m; Ark., Ill., Ind., Ky., Mo.
Solidago buckleyi is an uncommon species of mesic woods, most variable in the size and number of teeth on the large mid cauline leaves. Once seen, usually it is not easily confused with S. petiolaris. Reports from farther east are for plants of S. petiolaris.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
In 1935 I found a colony of this species about 3 feet in diameter in hard, white clay soil in a low, flat oak woods about three fourths of a mile southeast of the Spencer school house or about 8 miles southwest of Mt. Vernon, Posey County. I transplanted some of it at Bluffton where it has proved to be hardy and grows vigorously, flowering in October.