Solidago gigantea /Aster Family
There are many species of goldenrods in Tennessee! I'm not sure why this one is called "Late" since it is actually fairly early blooming as far as Goldenrods are concerned. When identifying them, pay attention to the shape of the flowerheads (plume-like, elm-branched, flat-topped, clublike, or wandlike), the leaves (are they feather-veined or parallel veined), and the stems (are they smooth or hairy, are they green or purple). My Peterson's Guide lists this plant as "plume-like with parallel veined leaves." The purple stem was the best identifying factor for this one. This plant was blooming on the shore of Melton Hill Lake in late July.
Where seen: Oak Ridge, Great Smoky Mountains NP, Warriors' Path SP, widespread