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Zizia aurea

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

 

Golden Alexanders, Golden Zizia, Golden Alexander

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)
SpeciesaureaLatin for “golden”

About plant names...

Golden alexanders are North American natives.

Identification: Plants reach 18-36" (45-91 cm) in height. Lower leaves are divided into threes; upper leaves in two. Leaves are up to 2½" (7 cm) long and ⅞" (2.5 cm) wide, with toothed edges. Flowerheads have the overall shape of a gently curved umbrella, 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 aurea (Golden Alexanders, Golden Zizia, Golden Alexander)

5/11/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Pepperell, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm)

Zizia aurea (Golden Alexanders, Golden Zizia, Golden Alexander)

5/7/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 14 cm)

 
Zizia aptera
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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 aurea on Missouriplants.com

Zizia aurea at Illinois Wildflowers

Zizia aurea at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Zizia aurea at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Zizia aurea on Missouriplants.com

Zizia aurea (Golden Alexanders, Golden Zizia, Golden Alexander)

5/11/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Pepperell, MA
≈ 14 × 9" (35 × 23 cm)

Zizia aurea description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 30 May 2016.

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Zizia aurea (Golden Alexanders, Golden Zizia, Golden Alexander)

5/27/2016 · Acton Arboretum, Acton, MA

Range: Zones 3-8:

About this map...