The essential oil was obtained at yield of 0.30% by hydrodistillation from fresh leaf tissue of Solidago canadensis L. collected from Zhejiang Province, China. GC and GC/MS analysis identified 46 components, representing 94.6% of the leaf oil. The main components were (-)germacrene D (28.4%), bornyl acetate (9.2%), D-Limonene (5.0%). The essential oil was tested for cytotoxic activities against three tumor cell lines. The inhibitory concentrations of the essential oil at 50% effect level (IC50) were 68.1 μg/ml for SMMC-7721, 71.4 μg/ml for SGC-7901, and 156.9 μg/ml for Hala, respectively.