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Native Plant of the Week: Heartleaf Alexanders

Family: Apiaceae


Name: Zizia aptera


Bloom Time: May - July


Flower: Yellow


Soil Condition: Moist to Dry


Light: Sun to Partial Shade


Height: 12-36" tall by 12-24" wide


Native Range: North America including Long Island


Zone: 3 to 8


Zizia aptera is short-lived but self-sows readily in the garden. This variety is great for drier spots in the garden. This is fantastic early nectar and pollen source for many different types of pollinators. The bright yellow flowers are a lovely addition to the heart-shaped basal leaves. It also makes a great fresh-cut flower and the seed heads are very showy with a touch of burgundy color in the fall. Its cousin, Zizia aurea, maybe be used for wetter sites.


Maintenance: None

Benefits: Host plant to black swallowtail caterpillars, songbirds eat the seeds, great nectar, and pollen source, tolerates clay soil


Fun Facts: The generic name, Zizia, is in honor of German botanist Johann Baptist Ziz (1779–1829). The specific epithet aptera means “without wings” because this species has wingless seeds.


Companion Plants: Amsonia tabernaemontana (bluestar), Bouteloua curtipendula (side oats grama), Carex bicknellii (Bicknell's sedge), Echinacea pallida (pale purple coneflower), Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem), Sporobolus heterolepis (Prairie Dropseed)

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