A succulent, herbaceous perennial that reaches heights of 4 to 6 feet. It is unusual in the genus in having toothless, hair-less leaves, thicker than those of most other Solidago species. Flower heads are found in a large paniculiform inflorescence at the top of the plant, often with branches that bend backwards towards the base. Its fruits are wind-dispersed achenes. They are yellow often, and have sprouts of buds at the end of the short branches.
This species blooms in late summer and well into the fall. It is highly tolerant of both saline soils and salt spray, and is usually found growing on coastal dunes and in salt marshes.