Zizia aurea (L.) W.D.J. Koch
Golden Zizia, Golden Alexanders
Apiaceae (Carrot Family)
USDA Symbol: ZIAU
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.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: MB , NB , NS , ON , QC , 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
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
Supports Conservation Biological Control
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
Black Swallowtail |
Learn more at BAMONA
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
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College, The - Valhalla, NY
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
BibliographyBibref 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
Bibref 1294 - 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.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Zizia aurea in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Zizia aurea in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Zizia aurea
MetadataRecord Modified: 2014-06-27
Research By: TWC Staff