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Zizia aptera

Zizia aptera (A. Gray) Fernald

Zizia aptera (A. Gray) Fernald var. occidentalis Fernald

Zizia cordata W.D.J. Koch ex DC.

Heart-leaved Golden Alexanders, Meadow Zizia

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderApialesIncludes carrots, celery, parsley, and ivy
FamilyApiaceaeCarrot or parsley family, also includes angelica, anise, caraway, celery, chervil, cicely, coriander/cilantro, cumin, dill, fennel, hemlock, lovage, Queen Anne’s Lace, parsnip
GenusZiziaNamed for German botanist Johann Baptist Ziz (1779–1829)
SpeciesapteraMeans “without wings”

About plant names...

Heart-leaved golden alexanders are North American natives.

Identification: Plants reach 12-30" (30-76 cm) in height. Lower leaves are divided into threes; upper leaves in two. Leaves are up to 4" (10 cm) long and 3" (7.6 cm) wide, heart-shaped, with finely toothed edges. Flowerheads have the overall shape of a gently curved umbrella about 2-3" (5-7.6 cm) across, divided into smaller groups (parasols?). The smaller groups approximately 25 tiny yellow flowers, each less than ⅛" (3.2 mm) across, each with five petals. The dried seedheads become purple.

Here are two golden alexanders:

 

Zizia aptera (Heart-leaved Golden Alexanders, Meadow Zizia)

6/22/2017 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 7 × 10" (16 × 24 cm)

Zizia aptera (Heart-leaved Golden Alexanders, Meadow Zizia)

5/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm)

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Zizia aptera

Zizia aurea
Common Name

Heart-leaved Golden Alexanders

Golden Alexanders
Plant 12-30" (30-76 cm) high. 18-36" (45-91 cm) high.
Flowers Umbrella-shaped cluster about 2-3" (5-7.6 cm) across, split into smaller groups of tiny yellow flowers, about 25 per group. Umbrella-shaped cluster about 2" (5 cm) across, split into smaller groups of tiny yellow flowers, about 25 per group.
Leaves Lower leaves are heart-shaped. Up to 4" (10 cm) long × 3" (7.6 cm) wide. Lower leaves divided into threes, upper leaves in two. Up to 2½" (6.3 cm) long × 2½" (6.3 cm) wide.
Range/ Zones

USDA Zones: 3-8

USDA Zones: 3-8
Habitats Black soil prairies, hillside prairies, rocky upland woodlands, limestone glades, bluffs, abandoned fields, and roadsides Prairies, glades, open woods, fields, thickets
Type Wild Wild

 

Edibility: Not edible. Caution: the flowerheads of these plants resemble those of water hemlock (Cicuta maculata), which is extremely poisonous Skull & Crossbones. Water hemlock flowers are white, while zizias are yellow.

Online References:

Zizia aptera on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Zizia aptera at Illinois Wildflowers

Zizia aptera at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Zizia aptera at Minnesota Wildflowers

Zizia aptera at the New England Wild Flower Society (PDF)

Zizia aptera (Heart-leaved Golden Alexanders, Meadow Zizia)

5/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm)

Zizia aptera description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 24 Jun 2017.

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Zizia aptera (Heart-leaved Golden Alexanders, Meadow Zizia)

6/22/2017 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 7 × 10" (16 × 24 cm)

Range: Zones 3-8:

About this map...