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Flaigg, Norman G.
Zizia aurea (L.) W.D.J. Koch
Golden zizia, Golden Alexanders
USDA Symbol: ziau
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Golden alexanders is a short-lived perennial with branching, erect, reddish stems. The lower leaves are divided into threes twice while the upper leaves are divided once. The yellow flowers less than 1/8 inch long. Each tiny flower has 5 sepals, 5 petals, and 5 stamens. Separate clusters of tiny, yellow flowers gather into a large, flat-topped flower head, the middle flower of each umbel being stalkless. Dry seedheads turn purple, adding summer interest. The plant is 1-3 ft. tall.
Other yellow-flowering members of the carrot family include: Heart-leaved Meadow Parsnip (Z. aptera), with simple heart-shaped basal leaves; and Yellow Pimpernel (Taenidia integerrima), with compound leaves and untoothed leaflets. A common southern Meadow Parsnip of a different genus, Thaspium trifoliatum, sometimes called Golden Alexanders as well, has only 3 lanceolate, untoothed leaflets.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug
, WV Canada: MB
, SK Native Distribution:
Que. to Sask. & Flathead Co., MT,
s. to New England, FL
& TX Native Habitat:
Moist prairies; thickets; open woods
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, sandy or sandy-clay soils.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Larval Host: Black Swallowtail
Deer Resistant: Moderate
PropagationDescription: Plant stratified seed in fall. Seeds germinate best in cool soil. Plants can also be divided.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Plant stratified seed in fall. Seeds germinate best in cool soil.
Commercially Avail: yes
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
* Available Online from Wildflower Center Store
Bibref 928 - 100 easy-to-grow native plants for Canadian gardens
(2005) Johnson, L.; A. Leyerle
Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America
(2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides)
(1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes
(2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 293 - Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas
(1979) Correll, D. S. & M. C. Johnston
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants
(2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide
(1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas
(2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
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Record Last Modified: 2012-10-03
Research By: TWC Staff