Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Zizia aurea (Golden zizia)
Flaigg, Norman G.

Zizia aurea

Zizia aurea (L.) W.D.J. Koch

Golden Zizia, Golden Alexanders

Apiaceae (Carrot Family)


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.


From the Image Gallery

15 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Schizocarp
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: 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 Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, sandy or sandy-clay soils.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Black Swallowtail
Deer Resistant: Moderate

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special 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
(Papilio polyxenes)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


Description: Plant stratified seed in fall. Seeds germinate best in cool soil. Plants can also be divided.
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

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.

From the National Organizations Directory

According 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


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
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 resources

USDA: Find Zizia aurea in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Zizia aurea in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Zizia aurea


Record Modified: 2014-06-27
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back