Plants 10-40 cm (with somewhat noxious odor); rhizomes short, stout, or branched caudices. Stems 1-10+, erect (usually simple), rough-puberulent or shortly spreading hirsute, or proximally glabrate. Leaves: basal petioles 1.5-7 mm, blades spatulate to lanceolate or subrhombic, mostly 50-109 × 15-40 mm, bases tapering, glabrous, margins sharply serrate, ciliate, apices acuminate; mid and distal sessile, blades lanceolate to subrhombic, much reduced distally, margins serrulate becoming entire distally, glabrous. Heads 15-50+ in compactly rounded corymbiform arrays, becoming paniculiform in robust plants. Peduncles 1-7, short-strigose; bracts leaflike, 5-15 mm. Involucres campanulate, 5-6 mm. Phyllaries (in 3-4 series) lanceolate, unequal (midnerves swollen), acute to acuminate (tips dark green). Ray florets 8-10(-15); laminae 2-3.5 mm. Disc florets 20-60; corollas 3.5-4.5 mm, lobes 1.5-2 mm. Cypselae 2-3 mm, sparsely strigose to glabrate; pappi (of 12-22 bristles) about 3 mm. 2n = 54. Flowering Sep-Oct. Rock crevices of exposed outcrops; of conservation concern; 1600-2000 m; N.C., Tenn. Solidago spithamaea is listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The species is extant at only three locations; all other known populations were extirpated. It is in the Center for Plant Conservation´s National Collection of Endangered Plants.