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Native Plant of the Week: Golden Alexanders

Family: Apiaceae

Name: Zizia aurea - Golden Alexanders

Bloom Time: May - June

Flower: Yellow

Soil Condition: Moist, well drained

Light: Sun to Partial Shade

Height: 18-36" tall by 18-24" wide

Native Range: Eastern North America including Long Island

Zone: 3 to 8

Pictures by KMS Native Plants LLC: Top Row: early foliage, flower buds, young Black Swallowtail caterpillar. Bottom Row: Black Swallowtail caterpillars, fall foliage

Zizia aurea is a short-lived, clump forming perennial in the carrot family. It self sows readily in the garden, so it will always be around. It blooms during a time when there is not much else flowering in the garden. Even though the plant is capable of self-pollination, the flowers are very attractive to many short-tongued insects from flies, bees, wasps and beetles. Makes a great fresh cut and dried flower (dry seed heads turn purple). Foliage turns a deep purple in the fall. Deer resistance is moderate.

Alternative for Drier Sites: Zizia aptera - Heart-leaf Alexanders

Maintenance: Remove the seed heads to reduce self sowing.

Benefits: host plant for the Eastern Black Swallowtail, nectar source, pollinators, tolerates some drought

Companion Plants: Monarda fistulosa - Wild Bergamot, Carex bicknellii - Bicknell's Sedge, Rudbeckia hirta - Gloriosa Daisy, Geranium maculatum - Wild Geranium



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