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Zizia aurea

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Kemper Code:  G710

Common Name: golden Alexander
Zone: 3 to 8
Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Apiaceae
Missouri Native: Yes
Native Range: Eastern Canada to southern United States
Height: 1.5 to 3 feet
Spread: 1.5 to 2 feet
Bloom Time: May - June   Bloom Data
Bloom Color: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium

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Plant Culture and Characteristics

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  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture:

Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade.

Noteworthy Characteristics:

Golden Alexander is a Missouri native perennial which occurs most often in small colonies in moist woods and meadows, thickets, glades and prairies. Features flat-topped clusters (compound umbels) of tiny yellow flowers in late spring atop stems growing to 3' tall. Distinguished from other carrot family members by the absence of a flower stalk on the central flower of each umbel. Both basal and stem leaves are compound biternate with toothed leaflets. The similar Zizia aptera has simple, heart-shaped basal leaves. Golden Alexanders is a food plant for the larvae of the Missouri woodland swallowtail butterfly (Papilio joanae).


No serious insect or disease problems. Foliage tends to depreciate as the summer progresses. In ideal conditions can reseed heavily.


Best massed in open woodland or prairie areas, wild or native plant gardens.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2001-2011