Zizia aurea (L.) W.D.J. Koch
Golden zizia, golden Alexander, golden Alexanders
Golden alexanders are North American natives.
Plants: Up to 18-36" (45-91 cm) in height.
Leaves: 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.
Flowers: 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.
Fruits: The dried seedheads become purple.
Here are two golden alexanders:
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|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.|
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|
Edibility: Not edible. Caution: the flowerheads of these plants resemble those of water hemlock (Cicuta maculata), which is extremely poisonous . Water hemlock flowers are white, while zizias are yellow.
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
The Missouri Botanical Garden
Zizia aurea description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Sep 2020.
Range: Zones 3-8: